If it’s not Sustainable, its condition is Terminal.

September 29, 2014

 

Can we rid the world of nuclear waste?

¶   Steve Reucroft and Alex Fay have set up their Kickstarter campaign. You can help. Click on this link to see how: Destroy Nuclear Waste.

¶   The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report. It is a distressingly dull digest of information from the NRC, posted most weekdays and Saturdays, most recently on September 29. Latest information is that out of 100 US reactors, 8 were at reduced output and 9 were not operating.

¶   By NRC reckoning, Vermont Yankee (VY) is running at 96% of capacity. While output is still greater than the original design specifications, it is being reduced as the plant ramps down production to go offline in December.

¶   Video: Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell, with guest Tad Montgomery September 18

¶   Comments: The Wind Always Blows, September 28

geoharvey is one of George Harvey’s Blogs.


September 30 Energy News

September 30, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Did the UN Summit Shift the Dial?” The UN Climate Summit has come and gone and leaders from many countries have made announcements, pledges or at least offered moral support. But are we any better off as a result? Reflecting on the last few days in New York, I would have to argue for the “yes” case. [Energy Collective]

Science and Technology:

¶   Modern lithium batteries come with their own environmental baggage. Scientists at Sweden’s Uppsala University, seeking a more eco-friendly alternative, have created a new smart battery made from organic materials that they say produces just as much power as its lithium counterpart. Plus, it’s recyclable. [Big Think]

¶   “ALEC feigns leap off faltering climate denial bandwagon; Fools no one.” The American Legislative Exchange Council had a really bad week. Coming under fire for its climate denial, the typically secretive ALEC answered with a cringe-inducing position statement on climate and renewable energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

World:

¶   A week and a half after Scotland voted not to split away from the United Kingdom and the Government is already back on track, approving the Middle Muir wind farm for construction. The 60 MW Middle Muir wind farm is comparatively small, but illustrates the importance of certainty to investors. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Thousands of solar- and wind-power supporters across Australia turned out for protests at key federal government ministers’ electorate offices calling for “no reduction” to the Renewable Energy Target. In all, there were rallies at 30 locations around the country calling for the government to “accept the RET”. [The Daily Telegraph]

¶   In the Philippines, the National Renewable Energy Board has recommended an increase in the volume of wind power projects that may avail of tariff incentives. The NREB has proposed to the Department of Energy an increase in the installation cap for wind from the existing 200 MW to 500 MW. [InterAksyon]

¶   After finalizing the financial plan for the facility, Covanta, a US firm, has made a deal with Dublin City Council to construct, own and operate a €500m waste to energy plant, which will be designed to handle 600,000 tons of waste annually and generate 58 MW of energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶   More than 11 GW of renewable energy capacity have been installed in Japan over the past two years, when the country’s notable feed-in tariff incentive plan was launched, according to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Of this, 10.88 GW was solar power. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   The Tehachapi Energy Storage Project — the biggest battery energy storage project to date in North America — has now opened. The 32 MWh battery energy storage system built by Southern California Edison has lithium-ion batteries stationed in a special 6,300 square-foot facility in a substation in Tehachapi, California. [CleanTechnica]

¶   A 3-year, $6.3 million dollar project to improve every aspect of the American wind turbine production process/industry was recently begun via a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories, Iowa State University, and TPI Composites (an operator of a wind turbine blade factory). [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Sierra Club announced joining with Ratepayer and Community Intervenors to file a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court challenging a Public Service Commission ruling. The ruling would add $140 million to residents’ electric bills to upgrade and expand a coal-fired power plant in Chautauqua County. [Triple Pundit]

¶   AllEarth Renewables and Claire Solar Partners have completed a 2.2 MW solar tracker farm in South Burlington, Vermont. JA Solar provided PV modules for the project. It is the largest in North America with distributed inverters and dual-axis trackers to maximize production. [Your Renewable News]

¶   One of the largest battery-based energy storage systems in the US, capable of running 2,500 homes, will soon be powering up UC San Diego. The system will be added to the school’s microgrid, which distributes 92% of the electricity used on campus. The battery will provide 2.5 MW and store 5 MWh. [NBC 7 San Diego]

¶   The Oregon Global Warming Commission has endorsed the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, while urging the Environmental Protection Agency to grant more flexibility to Oregon and other states to meet their targets. [Portland Tribune]

¶   On Monday, 17 anti-nuclear groups said they are preparing to file a federal court challenge if a recent NRC decision on waste storage at power plants takes effect. NRC commissioners voted to adopt a new rule that waste could be housed at plants’ dry-storage facilities indefinitely. [Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Portal]


September 29 Energy News

September 29, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   A new Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide thin-film solar cell conversion efficiency record was recently achieved by researchers at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Stuttgart. The new conversion efficiency record of 21.7% beats the previous record of 21%. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Chinese solar manufacturer JA Solar Holdings says it has attained 20% solar energy conversion efficiency in its multi-crystalline silicon solar cell, which it says is a world record for a multi-Si solar cell efficiency. This is just 9 months after it had set a previous record of 19% efficiency in its multi-Sci cells. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   Brazilian auctions to be held in November received bidding applications from 1115 projects totalling 53.87 GW. Wind power has the greatest capacity share. Wind’s chief competition is from 39 combined cycle gas projects totalling 20.61 GW and 224 solar photovoltaic projects totalling 6.1 GW. [Windpower Monthly]

¶   Cutting the renewable energy target will leave Australians reliant on natural gas and drive up electricity bills, a group of consumer and community advocates say. They have written to prime minister Tony Abbott urging him to reject recommendations of a review that called on the government to cut the target. [Echonetdaily]

¶   Two Japanese utilities, responsible for about a fifth of the nation’s power, say they have had their fill of renewable energy, in a move that could add pressure on community leaders to allow idled nuclear reactors back on line. There have been 68,000 MW of solar power licensed, and the utilities claim they fear instability of the grid. [Financial Times]

¶   Britain’s first ever floating solar panel project has just been built in Berkshire. The 800-panel green energy project was installed earlier this month on a reservoir at Sheeplands Farm, a 300-acre soft fruit farm near Wargrave. The project will supply 200 kW. The developer says larger systems could be easily built. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶   Saskatchewan’s government-owned power utility is set to launch a carbon-capture-and-storage project this week. SaskPower says it is the world’s first and largest commercial-scale, carbon-capture operation of its kind. It will capture carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal to store them deep underground. [Financial Post]

US:

¶   Solar Frontier, the solar arm of Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu, has revealed bold plans to build a solar manufacturing facility in Buffalo, upstate New York. The company was attracted by low solar costs that make PV in the US an attractive energy option for many. [pv magazine]

¶   A 1.8 MW solar project has been installed in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In all, 16.25 MW of projects are now installed or under construction. When all 16 MW of projects are completed New Bedford will have exceeded the city’s 2011 goal of purchasing 10 MW of power from renewable sources within five years. [SouthCoastToday.com]

¶   Panda Power Funds and Texas officials gathered to dedicate the company’s 758 MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant in Temple, Texas. The plant is one of the most advanced gas-fueled power stations in the nation, establishing new standards within its class. [Today's Energy Solutions]

¶   Carbon emissions in the US are higher than expected for 2014. Carbon dioxide emissions due to the consumption of coal were more than 12% higher during the first half of 2014 than during the first six months of 2012, while those from natural gas and petroleum rose by 7.3% and 0.8% respectively. [Business Green]

¶   Unsatisfied with the pace at which the federal government is acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several US states are forging ahead with their own initiatives. The first year of the California program was a resounding success, with the state’s economy expanding while at the same time adding renewable energy. [OilPrice.com]

¶   In Oregon, the Department of Transportation is building solar stations along the roads. It has already built two solar stations and is looking into a third, built without state money and on property already owned by the state and cleared for development as highway right-of-way. [Construction Equipment Guide]


September 28 Energy News

September 28, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “INSIGHT-Taxes, fees: the worldwide battle between utilities and solar” It’s still less than one percent of energy capacity worldwide, but the surge in installations of rooftop solar panels is beginning to hit utilities and their business model of charging customers on the basis of consumption. [Reuters]

¶   “Will US-India Summit Bring Historic Climate Action?” This week’s meeting of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Modi is an opportunity to accelerate climate action in economically advantageous ways for both countries and for the world, if they take immediate action to curb climate change. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Science and Technology:

¶   Concrete is the most-used construction material in the world and a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. But by using a different chemical formula to make the material, new research suggests it’s possible to significantly reduce concrete’s carbon footprint. [Scientific American]

¶   “7 Ways Energy Efficiency Affects National Security” Whether electricity, natural gas, or gasoline, the American economy wastes most of the energy it consumes. That waste puts our national security at risk by making the US more vulnerable to instability abroad and economic disruptions at home. [Care2.com]

World:

¶   The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a $25 million loan for the construction and development of SunEdison’s 20 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Jordan to help address the country’s energy shortages through utilizing its world-class solar resource. [Utilities-ME.com]

¶   The Asian Development Bank has agreed to finance a $65 million private sector power project being set up on Pakistan’s Poonch river, upstream from Mangla Dam. The project envisages construction and operation of a 102 MW run-of-the river hydroelectric generation facility. [DAWN.com]

¶   In an unprecedented speech delivered on behalf of the king of Morocco, the country’s prime minister denounced the long-term consequences of colonialism. He pointed to Morocco’s pioneering efforts at developing human resources as well as renewable energy, including solar and wind power. [Morocco World News]

¶   A flurry of meetings between the president of South Africa and his Russian counterpart, and the lack of detail on the nature of their discussions, have contributed to a growing sense of disquiet over the deal that would have Russia build nuclear plants in South Africa. Some are warning that it is too early to commit to nuclear. [Independent Online]

US:

¶   Elon Musk will soon be building what amounts, essentially, to being another “Gigafactory”, in New York State as per a recent agreement with the government there. This time it is a manufacturing plant that will produce more than a gigawatt of solar panels a year. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The proposed $8 billion California wind energy project could blow the socks off the regional renewable energy market. The key to the project, the thing that helps fulfill the Los Angeles vision of a sustainable, secure energy source, would be a massive compressed air energy storage system using salt caverns in Utah. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Federal energy regulators have given final approval for construction of a 330-mile electric transmission line to carry lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City. Supporters say the line will make the state less bound to the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County. [Oneida Dispatch]


September 27 Energy News

September 27, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   A new study found that in the long run, natural gas does little to curb emissions since it would boost consumption (high supply means it will be cheaper) and displace renewable energy. Even without the methane leaks, the overall climate benefits of gas are likely to be small. [ZME Science]

World:

¶   In Scotland, a new wind farm will have the potential to power 28,000 homes in South Lanarkshire and will generate community benefit funding of £6.37 million over its lifetime. It is noteworthy that it will have the tallest turbines in the UK at a height of 152 metres (500 ft). [Scotsman]

¶   The International Energy Agency says the global renewable expansion will slow over the next 5 years unless lawmakers provide clear conditions and policy certainty. Future investments are likely to fall from the $250 billion in 2013 and the pace of development likely to slow even though technology costs continue to fall. [Breaking Energy]

¶   Penetration rates of no-carbon generation have increased from 50% to 56% in recent years in Europe, as European Union countries work toward renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions targets. Renewable generation and nuclear generation are both considered no-carbon sources. [Energy Collective]

¶   Fresh statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change estimate renewables met a record-breaking 46.4% of electricity use in 2013, up from 39.9% in 2012. The Scottish government says this indicates Scotland is on track to meet its targets of 50% by 2015, and 100% by 2020. [Utility Products]

¶   The UK government is pressing ahead with plans to allow shale gas companies to drill under people’s homes without their consent despite 99% of respondents opposing the consultation proposals. It would change the trespass laws for shale and geothermal developers. [Business Green]

¶   An Austrian minister is calling on the European Court of Justice to prevent the UK from pursuing its plan to pay a guaranteed price to EDF for energy produced at the Hinkley point nuclear power plant. He would support any legal action to annul any decision to support the plan at the European Court of Justice. [PennEnergy]

US:

¶   Officials in the California community of Victor Valley on Friday unveiled what is claimed to be the United States’ first carbon-neutral wastewater treatment plant. Biogas produced from food waste and sewage powers the plant while keeping tons of garbage out of landfills. [TakePart]

¶   Activists delivered 6,000 cards and letters to the state New Mexico regulators asking for more renewable energy in a plan to replace coal-fired power from the San Juan Generating Station. The owner is seeking to use natural gas, nuclear, and increased capacity in remaining coal-fired units in addition to solar. [Bakken.com]

¶   According to the latest Monthly Energy Review put out by the US Energy Information Administration, the US dumped significantly more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the first half of 2014 than it did in the same period over the previous two years, reversing a decline in emissions from 2010-2012. [KCET]

¶   As increasing levels of solar, wind, geothermal and biomass are integrated onto the grid, utility hiring is impacted. Solar, however, has the most employment, averaging 41 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees per 100 MW of PV interconnections vs. 12 FTEs per 100 MW of total renewable capacity. [Fierce Energy]

¶   A collaborative study of Long Island’s offshore wind resources is underway for the development of the Deepwater ONE project, a 210 MW offshore wind farm to be located approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, proposed by Deepwater Wind in response to a request for proposals for renewable energy. [Fierce Energy]

¶   In the State of New York, a looming power supply shortage is spurring regulatory action to support a smarter, less centralized and more robust power grid. The initiative could revolutionize the utility industry in that state, while solving the supply problem — in both a functional and business sense. [Energy Collective]

¶   Entergy expects to complete a detailed decommissioning site assessment for the Vermont Yankee plant in the next 30 days. Also, Entergy has slightly revised its schedule for moving the plant’s spent fuel into more-stable dry cask storage, saying it will be done by 2020. [Brattleboro Reformer]


September 26 Energy News

September 26, 2014

A Quote for the Day:

¶   “Climate action is not just a defensive play, it advances the ball. We can turn our challenge into an opportunity to modernize our power sector, and build a low-carbon economy that’ll fuel growth for decades to come,” Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy told Resources for the Future, a non-profit research group. [USA TODAY]

Science and Technology:

¶   The first net zero energy sky scraper is being built in Jakarta, the capital and the largest city in Indonesia. Scheduled to be ready for inauguration in 2019, the 99-story building will include a mosque, a sports center and a 2000 seat auditorium for performing arts. It will be powered by wind, solar and geothermal energy. [Archinect]

¶   A new report from Navigant Research examines the global demand response market with a focus on two key sectors: commercial/industrial and residential. The report says the total worldwide capacity of demand response programs is expected to grow from 30.8 GW in 2014 to more than 196.6 GW by 2023. [Transmission and Distribution World]

World:

¶   Welsh tidal power developer Tidal Energy has signed an energy-supply deal with EDF, becoming one of the first tidal ventures in the world securing its spot in the grid. The Power Purchase Agreement provides a guarantee that EDF will purchase electricity and renewable certificates at a pre-agreed price during the first year of operations. [E&T magazine]

¶   WRB Enterprises has secured a solar supply contract with the Jamaican Public Service Company grid for a 20 MW PV project scheduled for completion in 2015. Construction on the project will begin within 60 days, with WRB subsidiary Content Solar overseeing the completion of the $60 million plant. [pv magazine]

¶   It is approximated that there is about 29 gigawatts of electricity that can be produced via geothermal energy sources in Indonesia, but only about 5%, or roughly 1,340 megawatts, of the country’s geothermal resources are currently utilized. By the end of 2014, three new geothermal plants will be operational. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶   In the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s quarterly energy statistics show gas partially replaced coal power between May and July this year. Low carbon energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear generated almost 5% more electricity than in the same three months last year. [Carbon Brief]

¶   A new pan-European offshore wind cost-cutting initiative has been launched aiming to spearhead grid-connection of at least 30 GW of projects in UK, Danish and German waters by 2025. The venture seeks to achieve a levelized cost of energy below £100/MWh ($163/MWh) through knowledge management and other cost reductions. [Recharge]

¶   The global offshore wind power market is expected to significantly grow from 7.1 GW in 2013 to 39.9 GW by 2020 as more countries get involved, says GlobalData. The company’s latest report also revealed that the global offshore wind energy space registered substantial growth between 2006 and 2013, rising from 0.9 GW to 7.1GW. [Maritime Journal]

¶   The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) paper predicts an “auspicious future” for sustainable biomass, outlining that total biomass demand could reach 108 exajoules worldwide by 2030, which would represent 60% of total global renewable energy use, if its full potential is realized. [Business Green]

US:

¶   Following Google, Facebook has cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, bringing the number of corporations that have done so to at least 87. Facebook and Google’s high-profile departure from ALEC will likely put pressure on corporations still sending funds to the conservative group, such as Yahoo and eBay. [Business Spectator]

¶   According to a new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, utilities and their shareholders could see substantial declines in revenues as solar penetrations increase – assuming they don’t seize the solar opportunity themselves. Solar reduces both utility power sales and new equity investment. [Greentech Media]

¶   A new report by the Energy Information Administration shows that the Texas power grid has been catching up with added windpower capacity in the state, as a massive, multi-year, multi-billion dollar infrastructure upgrade has been taking effect. This cut the number of curtailments and negative pricing events in Texas. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   The state of Vermont has received 26 requests totaling more than $6 million, for the first $2 million in funding that will be distributed from the Windham County Economic Development Fund. The fund was established after Entergy Vermont Yankee signed an agreement with the state regarding closing the nuclear power plant. [Brattleboro Reformer]


September 25 Energy News

September 25, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Can energy utilities keep their customers, or will they flee the grid?” One of the great imponderables for the global electricity industry at the moment is to what extent they have a captive audience. For decades, most consumers have had no choice but to use electricity supplied through the grid, and were happy to do so. [RenewEconomy]

¶   “Wall Street & Main Street Vote For Clean Energy” When Congress returns after Labor Day, it will pick up the debate over the clean energy provisions in the tax extenders package. But, as in so many areas, Washington is behind the curve. The debate is over. Clean energy won. [CleanTechnica]

¶   “Why we won’t be getting any nuclear power plants from Russia anytime soon” South Africa’s Department of Energy recently issued a statement regarding a new partnership in nuclear energy. But let’s not get excited. Nuclear power is a diversion from the real issues in the energy sector – and the culmination of a whole lot of dreaming. [Daily Maverick]

World:

¶   Major new analysis produced by Australia’s ClimateWorks, along with Australian National University, shows that 15 of the world’s biggest economies can move to “net carbon zero” by 2050, and it need impose no extra costs over business as usual. In fact, electricity bills will be lower than what they are now. [CleanTechnica]

¶   A UN summit on climate change agreed to raise billions of dollars for developing countries in an effort to forge a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming. The one-day summit set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030 and hike the share of electric vehicles in cities to 30% of new vehicle sales by 2030. [Times of Malta]

¶   Kyushu Electric Power, the utility on the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu, says it will temporarily stop reviewing grid-access applications from renewables developers until it can determine how much more capacity it can accept. The utility will continue to accept grid-access applications for home systems below 10 kW in size. [Recharge]

¶   A day after world leaders gathered for a United Nations Climate Summit in an attempt to garner the political will needed to confront climate change, New York’s Empire State Building played host Wednesday to an alliance of civil society, private sector and diplomatic leaders planning a transition to a carbon-neutral future. [Al Jazeera America]

¶   The world needs to more than double its annual investment in renewable energy by 2030 in order to achieve the target to restrict global rise in temperature of 2° C by the end of the century, the International Renewable Energy Agency has stated in one of recently published reports. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   Continued growth of wind energy in Iowa places it ahead of other states in meeting a proposed rule that would require existing power plants to cut carbon emissions. Iowa would be required to cut carbon emissions 16% by 2030, under the proposed rule, but that  target is lower than the 30% national average. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶   New Jersey’s Public Service Electric & Gas has begun building a 10.14-MW solar farm at a landfill in Bordentown. It will be the biggest system of solar arrays yet to be built in New Jersey by the utility. The solar system at the capped former garbage dump complies with an initiative to develop landfills and brownfields. [NJ Spotlight]

¶   A proposed $1.5 billion energy storage site in rural Utah that is part of a larger, ambitious clean energy initiative would be an economic boon to the state and could potentially make the area a hub for similar projects, state officials said Wednesday. The Millard County facility is about 130 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. [Reading Eagle]

¶   A group of wealthy businessmen with ties to the Obama political machine has put out an email blast asking Americans to submit public comments to the EPA in favor of the president’s “aggressive plan to tackle climate change.” The EPA is accepting comments from the public through December 1. [WND.com]


September 24 Energy News

September 24, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “300,000-Plus People March for Climate Action, In Pictures” The Sunday morning rush hour is not usually known for packing people into subway cars like sardines. But September 21, 2014 was not your average Sunday commute as hundreds of thousands showed up for the People’s Climate March. [Scientific American]

¶   “A strong economy depends on climate action” When we act on climate, we seize an opportunity to retool and resurge with new technologies, new industries and new jobs. We owe it to our kids not just to act, but to lead. When we do, we’ll leave them a cleaner, safer and opportunity-rich world for generations to come. [The Hill]

¶   “Climate action – who is stopping us?” Fossil fuel industries are the only obstacle to a safe future and a stable climate, says Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo. But even the rich in industrialized countries know that they can’t hide from devastating climate change in their gated communities. [eco-business.com]

Science and Technology:

¶   Growing use of natural gas fails to benefit the environment because it slows the spread of renewable energy sources, according to a study released today. While natural gas releases less carbon dioxide than coal when burned to produce electricity, it hampers growth of cleaner energy such as wind and solar. [Mynextfone]

World:

¶   The Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index ranks 40 markets worldwide on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. China is in first place, ahead of the US. Political uncertainty in the UK and Australia have dropped them in the rankings. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Mexico is facing an energy problem. A growing population and an expanding middle class are driving energy demand to increase 4% per year.  Mexico has a 60 GW energy demand, but that number will expand to 110 GW by 2024. And they want to solve this dreary problem with renewables. [Energy Collective]

¶   David Cameron announced at the Climate Summit that shale gas is part of Britain’s solution to tackling global climate change. Friends of the Earth however slammed Mr Cameron’s speech saying promoting fracking at a climate change summit “is like trying to sell cigarettes at a hospital.” [Energy Live News]

¶   The sub-Saharan African region is set to commission 1.8 GW of renewable power capacity in 2014. The region is emerging as an “exciting market” for investments in renewable energy technology such as onshore wind, small-scale and utility-scale solar and geothermal power. [African Review]

¶   In New Zealand, the new chief executive of the country’s Petroleum Exploration and Production Association told Radio New Zealand this morning that his industry is ready and willing to adapt to “the transition that we know will ultimately occur.” This leaves political climate change deniers out in the cold. [Scoop.co.nz]

US:

¶   Black Oak Wind Farm, LLC has just opened a new equity investment round for New York residents and companies, to join the existing investors in owning a group of 7 GE turbines on a ridge in the Finger Lakes region. The purpose of the offering is to allow local community ownership in the wind farm. [Your Renewable News]

¶   An alliance of four companies say they have found an answer to an energy storage problem in an underground salt formation. The group proposes an $8 billion power project that would store power from a huge wind farm in Wyoming and deliver it to over 1 million households in Southern California. [NEWS.GNOM.ES]

¶   California Governor Jerry Brown has long helped promote regulations to reward power companies for how much energy they save and mandated that a third of electricity come from sources such as solar. His latest ambition is for 1.5 million zero-emission cars on state roads in the next decade. [Businessweek]

¶   Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced on 23 September 2014 they had received a firm and unconditional order in the United States for 55 V110-2.0 MW turbines corresponding to 110 MW. The order was placed by Duke Energy Renewables. The turbines will be installed in a wind farm in Texas. [Newswire Today]

¶   Decommissioning of the idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in northern San Diego County will cost an estimated $4.4 billion, according to a plan submitted Tuesday by majority owner Southern California Edison. The plan is said to be fully funded. [Times of San Diego]


September 23 Energy News

September 23, 2014

Climate Summit:

¶   At the United Nations Climate Summit, which begins today, the European Commission will formally recommend a 40% cut in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 for its 28 member countries, its president said on Monday. Now, the US, China, and India need to step up. [Tribune-Review]

¶   A report by ClimateWorks and the Australian National University, which is being presented to the UN Climate Leaders’ Summit in New York, finds that deep decarbonisation could happen with existing technologies, and without major structural changes to the economy, bringing Australia to zero carbon by 2050. [eco-business.com]

¶   Australia’s Federal Government says coal will serve as an affordable, dependable energy source for decades to come, but the UN’s climate chief has questioned whether that is in Australia’s best interests long term and says that coal has no future in the world’s energy mix. [ABC Online]

¶   Some of the world’s biggest brand names signed up to a campaign to encourage major businesses towards solely using green energy. IKEA, Swiss Re, fashion company H&M, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, publisher Reed Elsevier, and private banker J. Safra Sarasin are among the firms joining the RE100 campaign. [Energy Live News]

World:

¶   Australia on Tuesday said it wants to dramatically deregulate its energy industry, boost domestic gas supply and cut renewable energy subsidies as it prepares to ramp up exports of liquefied natural gas. Australia is the world’s number 2 coal exporter, but the future for coal is looking ever more difficult. [Reuters]

¶   Coal India, which is the largest fuel producer in India, is planning to construct $1.2 billion of solar projects in the country in order to compensate for the carbon pollution emitted by its coal plants. Current solar projects being negotiated with the government come to 1000 MW. [Energy Business Review]

¶   The UK’s biggest coal power station has been accused of causing environmental damage as it moves to produce electricity from “renewable” resources. Drax in North Yorkshire is converting half of its boilers to burn wood, and environmentalists worry the huge demand for wood pellets will damage US forests. [BBC News]

¶   The South Australian Government says it will increase its Renewable Energy Target and aim for 50% of the state’s power to be generated by renewables by 2025. Figures from last financial year showed 31.% of energy produced in the state came from renewable sources, and the state has since passed its current target for 2020 of 33%. [Yahoo!7 News]

¶   GE’s 1.7-100 wind turbines will produce wind power in Morocco to help meet the country’s renewable energy goals. The agreement complements the government of Morocco’s Integrated Wind Energy Project, which aims to generate 2,000 MW of wind power by 2020 through an investment of $8.6 billion. [Today's Energy Solutions]

¶   Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation announced on Monday that an agreement had been signed in Vienna with South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson for large-scale nuclear power plant development in SA. South Africa may install up to 9.6 GW of nuclear power by 2030. [BDlive]

¶   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed Monday that Japan will not restart its shuttered nuclear plants “unless safety is restored 100%.” He said at the World Leaders Forum, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, and that his government is looking to introduce renewable energy sources at a fast pace. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶   Google’s controversial decision to fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was a “mistake,” company chairman Eric Schmidt admitted on Monday, saying the group is spreading lies about global warming and “making the world a much worse place.” [ThinkProgress]

¶   In a highly symbolic gesture with real bottom line impact, the Rockefeller family, whose fortune came from oil, has announced that its eight hundred sixty million dollar philanthropic organization will sell off its assets linked to fossil fuel companies and invest in renewable energy. [3BL Media]

¶   The latest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission data shows that August saw the US added of 68 MW of solar PV capacity for a total of 1510 MW for 2014 so far. This takes the total installed solar generating capacity in the country to 9.55 GW, which is 0.82% of total US energy capacity. [pv magazine]

¶   The Nebraska Power Review Board gave its approval to a wind farm in Webster County, a $150 million project expected to be made up of about 52 windmill turbines spread over 9,000 acres south of Blue Hill. The project, as planned. will generate 89.5 MW, enough to power 22,000 Nebraska homes. [Lincoln Journal Star]

¶   Frustrated with the congressional response to global warming, Houston mayor Annise Parker and the mayors of Los Angeles and Philadelphia vowed to set more aggressive targets for reducing their cities’ heat-trapping pollution while challenging others to do the same. [Houston Chronicle]


September 22 Energy News

September 22, 2014

Finance:

¶   Developers have begun to spin off their renewable energy assets into investment vehicles called YieldCos. These attract low-cost capital by appealing to institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies, who together manage more than $71 trillion in assets. [Business Green]

¶   A new handbook shows how forward-looking communities around the world are already moving away from reliance on fossil fuels and generating their own power with 100% renewables − while also becoming more prosperous and creating jobs. [eco-business.com]

Science and Technology:

¶   MasseReaction Inc. says its World Patented ViPARtm technology (Vertically integrated Photo Array Reactor) is the first industrial scale algae carbon capture technology that is sustainable on both environmental and financial levels. [PR.com]

¶   Dashing hopes and trashing projections, a new study shows global carbon dioxide emissions not only rose again last year, but are also on track to reach a new high this year, pushing the planet further toward irreversible climate change. [NEWS.GNOM.ES]

¶   In the past few years, to the surprise of many, both China and the US have taken major steps away from coal. This opens up a crucial window of opportunity to achieve what many thought was a lost cause – a peak in global emissions of heat-trapping gases well before 2020. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶   Yorkshire Water has invested £56 million to increase the renewable energy being generated by the firm by nearly 80%. The investment is helping the company to generate an expected 75 gigawatt hours this year, enough energy to make over three billion cups of tea. [bdaily]

¶   Slowing demand for coal in China is a major financial risk for coal industry investors. Demand for coal in China could peak as early as 2016, as the country brings in measures to tackle air pollution and boosts its use of renewables, gas, nuclear power and energy efficiency. [Energy Voice]

¶   Saudi Arabia has announced it will build solar power stations in five regions by the end 2015. The solar power stations would be built by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, based in Jeddah, where there also are plans to generate power from landfill. [ArabianBusiness.com]

¶   Enough electricity for almost 5,000 homes could soon be generated in a mammoth solar power farm situated on Green Belt land less than one mile from Upminster, northeast of London. The solar plant will have 60,100 solar panels. [Brentwood Gazette]

¶   German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex has received its largest individual order in its home market to date, from developer PNE Wind for the 57.6 MW Chransdorf wind farm in eastern Germany. [Recharge]

¶   On Sunday, Japan’s new trade minister said the country would find it difficult to formulate an energy policy without nuclear power, given its lack of energy resources and the high cost of utilities for companies and households. [Daily Times]

US:

¶   A state group aims to form a new electric cooperative in Arkansas, a cooperative that relies on solely on solar energy. The cooperative aims to create group negotiating power for the purchase of solar energy systems. [KATV]

¶   With the UN Climate Summit coming up, major companies, including Big Oil, will make pledges to help fight global warming by cutting their heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, protecting the world’s forests and reducing methane leakage from fossil fuel production. [Pensacola News Journal]

¶   Green Mountain Power is biting back after the Federal Trade Commission got a complaint asking that GMP’s claims and practices marketing renewable energy be investigated. GMP’s CEO points out that renewable power in Vermont grew from 10 MW to 150 MW in five years. [Fierce Energy]


September 21 Energy News

September 21, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Errors and Emissions – Could Fighting Global Warming Be Cheap and Free?” Two reports both claim strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might even lead to faster growth. But will anyone believe the good news? [New York Times]

Science and Technology:

¶   Last month was the warmest August since records began being kept in 1880, according to NOAA. They also projected out scenarios for the rest of the year making clear that 2014 is going to be one of the very hottest years on record — and possibly the hottest. [Energy Collective]

¶   The Center for Biological Diversity has said the Earth is currently going through its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals. Now, researchers at the University of Georgia have concluded that species are going extinct 1,000 times faster than normal. [The Weather Channel]

¶   Australian battery technology developer RedFlow says trials of its zinc-bromine “flow” batteries shows that the technology is “cost competitive” in large-scale applications on the electricity grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Germany-based Novatec Solar has commissioned a new solar plant that uses direct molten salt technology. The plant can operate at temperatures well above 500° C, resulting in a significant increase in power yield and an ability to act as baseload generators if required. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   The largest self-use solar rooftop power plant in the Philippines was launched yesterday at a shopping mall in Laguna. The 700-kW Central Mall Biñan solar rooftop project is part of the country’s efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce dependence on coal. [Philippine Star]

¶   A march in London today to demand urgent action on climate change is one of 2,000 events taking place in 150 countries around the world ahead of a United Nations climate summit next week. Some 100,000 people are expected to get involved in New York City. [Daily Mail]

¶   On the eve of the UN Climate Summit, Desmond Tutu argues that tactics used against firms who did business with South Africa must now be applied to fossil fuels to prevent human suffering. [The Guardian]

¶    The world is running out of water resources. This threatens conventional electric supplies, as coal, gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric sources are all subject to limitations by the coming water shortage, because they all depend on water either for power or for cooling. [Motley Fool]

US:

¶   Consumers in 13 states and the District of Columbia could be overcharged $433 million in annual utility bill savings over the next three years, and $127 million annually after that point, because PJM is undercounting energy efficiency’s effectiveness in cutting power demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶   After years of advocating for wind energy and the importance of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, Kansas Governor Brownback says he is in favor of repealing the RPS. His opponent in the election says the repeal is intended to eliminate competition for the Koch brothers industries. [hays Post]


September 20 Energy News

September 20, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Rocky Mountain Institute’s Micropower Database documents the global progress of distributed, rapidly scalable, and no- or low-carbon generators. Its most astonishing finding: micropower now produces about one-fourth of the world’s total electricity. [Forbes]

¶   French investment bank Kepler Chevreux analysis says $100 billion invested in either wind energy or solar energy – and deployed as energy for light and commercial vehicles – will produce significantly more energy than that same $100 billion invested in oil. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   The Polish town of Kisielice has received the European Commission’s ManagEnergy Award 2014 for its clean energy leadership. It is 100% powered by renewable energy (wind and biomass, to be specific). [CleanTechnica]

¶   Solar power program was a flagship project of previous Indian government. Now, the current government is all set to take it to a higher level. It is planning to double the target of the upcoming phase of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to 3,000 MW. [Oneindia]

¶   Work on Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant will not begin at the end of this year as originally planned, Deputy Trade Minister Cao Quoc Hung said Thursday. Construction was pushed back until 2020 or 2022 to ensure the highest safety precautions. [Thanh Nien Daily]

¶   Jamaica Public Service Co signed 20-year power purchase agreements with three renewable energy providers for projects that will be completed by the end of next year. The two wind farms have a combined capacity of 58 MW, and the solar farm’s capacity is 20 MW. [Mynextfone]

¶   Brazilian wind power developers registered another 55 projects with a total capacity of 1.4 GW for the A-5 auction that was rescheduled for November 28, Brazil’s energy planning authority, EPE, said in a statement. [Recharge]

US:

¶   Montana Governor Steve Bullock said Friday that his state can meet the Obama administration’s goal of reducing climate pollution while protecting energy-related jobs and avoiding the closure of coal plants that generate the bulk of the state’s emissions. [Reading Eagle]

¶   Consumers in The Panhandle could see long term benefits if one company invests in renewable energy. Xcel Energy wants to expand new solar resources that could power up to 200,000 homes by the end of 2016. [KFDA]

¶   Texas is a national leader in wind energy, with more installed capacity, more wind turbines, and more jobs than any other state. Potential for more job growth in this field seems likely, given the US DOE’s push for 20% of US electricity to be wind-generated by 2030. [Chron.com]

¶   Kansas’s first community solar farm will be the nation’s largest solar tracking community solar array, soon to provide 1.2 megawatts of locally-produced clean energy production available to Midwest Energy customers throughout central and western Kansas. [High Plains Journal]

¶   First Wind is starting  construction at the company’s Oakfield Wind Project, in Aroostook, Maine. It is the company’s sixth wind energy development in Maine and is its largest in New England at 148 MW. It will include 48 Vestas V-112 turbines. [Area Development Online]

¶   Used batteries from plug-in electric vehicles could help California meet its goals for energy storage, a report from the University of California, Los Angeles, and UC Berkeley law schools said. The EV batteries can be repurposed for grid storage when their automotive life ends. [Scientific American]

¶   The University of California higher education institution recently made the largest ever solar energy purchase in the US by a higher education institution, 206,000 MW-hours per year, as part of a new deal to power its many campuses and medical centers with renewables. [CleanTechnica]


September 19 Energy News

September 19, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Three out of four nuclear plants under construction world wide are behind schedule and over budget. Peter Bradford, former member of the US NRC, says nuclear power is too expensive for generating electricity and not an essential part of the world’s climate change strategy. [Your Nuclear News]

World:

¶   The decision by the Scottish electorate to remain within the UK leaves the way open for a number of projects that are dependent on UK subsidies to proceed. Independence would have required negotiation on energy with the remainder of the UK, creating market uncertainty. [Windpower Monthly]

¶   Ahead of a UN climate summit, institutional investors managing £15 trillion ($24.6 trillion) of assets are also calling on governments to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, an estimated £370 billion ($606 billion) worldwide a year, five times the £60 billion paid in renewables subsidies. [The Guardian]

¶   So far, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has only deemed Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai reactor in the southwest ready. An analyst with JPMorgan Securities Japan, says he thinks only half of the 48 reactors will come back, and that might take until 2018. [Businessweek]

¶   Small and medium businesses supplying renewable energy projects around Australia have jointly written to the government, urging it to retain the current policy, rejecting the recommendations of the recent Warburton review to cut the Renewable Energy Target. [Business Spectator]

¶   In a speech at the National Press Club in Canberra, Greens leader Christine Milne has called on Australia to commit to being “net carbon zero” by 2050, and commit to cutting emissions by up to 60% by 2030. She suggested introducing emissions standards to phase out use of coal. [RenewEconomy]

¶   One of the largest coal power plants in Germany — EON SE’s Wilhelmshaven hard coal plant on the coast of the North Sea — was recently forced to shut down for a week (or so) owing to the water inflow pipes becoming clogged with huge masses of mussels. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   The White House has unveiled more than 50 actions and commitments designed to provide a major boost to the US solar power and energy efficiency industries. The package is predicted to avoid nearly 300 million ton of emissions by 2030 and save consumers more than $10 billion. [Business Green]

¶   In an effort to expand on the rapidly growing PV market, the DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network has a pilot job training program for veterans at up to three military bases starting this fall. The goal is to engage 400 community colleges to train 50,000 workers by 2020. [PV-Tech]

¶   Environmental groups are simultaneously praising Duke Energy for its investment in solar power while criticizing the utility for operating some of the dirtiest power plants in the nation. Duke just committed $500 million to solar, but still runs some of the nation’s dirtiest coal plants. [WCNC]

¶   Montana ranks second in the nation for wind energy potential, but currently isn’t even ranked in the top 20 for existing wind development projects. And instead of deploying windpower, it is maintaining one of the dirtiest coal-burning plants in the country. [MTPR]

¶   According to the CEO of SolarCity, within ten years every set of solar panels sold by that company will come with a battery backup system, and the energy produced will be less expensive that grid power. [Treehugger]

¶   Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is investing in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. The money, $68 million, will come as loan guarantees and grants. [Clarksville Online]

¶   A report released by Environment America, a national federation of statewide advocacy groups, compares carbon emissions from US power plants to world power plant carbon emissions (all sources, all countries). The dirtiest coal plant in the US produces more CO2 than Sri Lanka. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit yesterday rejected a petition from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to rehear a case ruling that  federal law does not permit the long-standing practice of paying big users not to use energy at peak demand times. [Crain's Chicago Business]


September 18 Energy News

September 18, 2014

Global Warming:

¶   On Sept. 21, a huge crowd will march through the middle of Manhattan in a loud and pointed reminder to our leaders, gathering that week at the UN to discuss global warming, that the next great movement of the planet’s citizens centers on our survival and their pathetic inaction. [Monterey County Weekly]

¶   A UN summit on climate change will see the world begin to seriously tackle global warming, UN climate envoy Mary Robinson said. “The message from the climate summit and the message going forward to Paris is that it’s not business as usual with a little bit of green attached.” [Tengrinews]

¶   A newly released report says an ambitious global plan to rid the world of fossil fuels – and generate half of the world’s new energy from renewable sources in just 15 years – could produce more economic benefits than costs, considering the anticipated boost to public health. [Slate Magazine]

Science and Technology:

¶   A Gamesa-developed ‘bat shield’ technology has been shown to reduce the number of fatalities at wind turbines. Research to date with US development partner University of Delaware reveals a drop of 90%. However, under longer-term data a reduction range of 30% to 50% is anticipated. [reNews]

World:

¶   Solar power may be the best weapon to counter India’s power crisis. The Telangana government is going to implement a new scheme under which solar panels would be attached to handwater pumps to convert them into dual purpose motor pumps in rural areas. [The New Indian Express]

¶   Atlantis Resources is ready to draw down cash for its MeyGen tidal array project off the north coast of Scotland after satisfying all conditions in a £51.3 million funding package. The largely public funds will enable works on the 6 MW phase 1a to get underway. [reNews]

¶   It has taken banks and financiers some time to get used to solar technology, a very safe investment. However, one promising development is news that Goldman Sachs is offering financing for solar PV projects in Japan for a lower rate than banks. [PlanetSave.com]

¶   The Australian Labor party has ruled out negotiating with the Federal Government to scale back the large-scale Renewable Energy Target. The Government is believed to be searching for a bipartisan compromise to scale back the green scheme. [ABC Online]

¶   The total worldwide capacity of demand response programs is expected to grow from 30.8 GW in 2014 to more than 196.6 GW by 2023, according to a recent report from Navigant Research. Demand response shifts part of the grid demand from peak periods to low-use periods. [PennEnergy]

¶   With more countries utilizing offshore wind potential, the global offshore wind power market is expected to increase more than fivefold from 7.1 GW in 2013 to 39.9 GW by 2020, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   Enel Green Power announced it has started construction on a 61 MW wind power farm in Chile. The Talinay Poniente wind farm will have 32 wind turbines that will generate enough power to provide electricity for 60,000 households in Chile. [PennEnergy]

US:

¶   Clearly, politicians across the ideological spectrum are realizing that voters like clean energy. And for good reason, as wind and solar are big-time job creators and economic drivers, making them not just good politics but smart policy investments for any state’s future. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Large wind farms and solar plants are now cost-competitive with gas-fired power in many parts of the US even without subsidy, according to Lazard, raising the prospect of a fundamental shift in the country’s energy market. [Financial Times]

¶   Fifty-two months after NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power plant filed for a 20-year extension to its license, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has again revised its schedule for the application, with the decision date reset for March of 2016. [The Daily News of Newburyport]


September 17 Energy News

September 17, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   For renewables power sources, nearly all energy inputs are original production and mitigating the waste from that production. More energy is produced than the fossil fuels used. Wind is the most efficient fuel for electricity, creating 1164% of its original energy inputs. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   MIT professor Fikile Brushett is working on taking the power generated by wind and solar, chemically lashing it to molecules derived from flora and fauna, and storing it in liquids until it’s needed to electrify our homes. The process may reduce costs of redox flow batteries. [PennEnergy]

¶   A recent study by GE and NREL shows that the entire eastern US grid could achieve a dramatic increase in wind penetration without suffering any major destabilizing effects, without threatening electric reliability, and without installing any costly energy storage. [Scientific American]

¶   Scientists at the University of Glasgow found a new way to make hydrogen that is 30 times faster than the state-of-the-art method, offering a solution to some common problems with generating electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind, or wave energy. [Nature World News]

World:

¶   Australia’s coal industry is in a flap after an announcement from the Chinese government it would ban the import of certain types of coal. According to the Wall Street Journal, the directive is primarily aimed at low-grade coal mainly coming from Indonesia and Australia. [Energy Matters]

¶   The Kosh-Agach solar PV pilot power plant in the Altai region of Russia is now online. The 5 MW project is apparently the largest solar power plant to be installed in Russia to-date, and is serving as the prototype for a further four more such projects in the region. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Germany switched on Europe’s largest commercial battery plant on Tuesday, an installation powered by 25,600 lithium-ion batteries that will help stabilise the region’s growing supply of renewable energy. The €6 million plant is the size of a school gymnasium and stores 5 MWh. [Economic Times]

¶   New Delhi is going through a rooftop revolution because of a freshly-minted regulation by the power watchdog, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, which permits enterprises and residents to not only generate their own solar energy but also sell it to the grid. [Khaleej Times]

¶   Over the past 17 years, the German village of Wildpoldsried has invested in renewable energy projects that include 4,983 kW of photovoltaics, five biogas facilities, 11 wind turbines and a hydropower system. Now it produces 500% of the energy it needs and sells the excess. [Inhabitat]

US:

¶   The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has begun a gradual reduction of the electricity it generates that will end with the plant shutting down in December. The coast-down period will end the plant’s operating cycle as the nuclear fuel in the reactor is depleted. [WAMC]

¶   A heat wave that set year-to-date records for California statewide power use on Monday and Tuesday was thwarted by electricity infrastructure that has been upgraded in recent years and increased power from renewable energy sources. Over 10% of demand was met by solar power. [Press-Enterprise]

¶   The EPA announced it is extending the Clean Power Plan’s public comment period 45 days, making the new deadline December 1.The head of the EPA office writing the new rule said she still expects to meet the June deadline for making revisions to the rule based on the comments. [Journal and Courier]

¶   In the Vermont, the Green Mountain State, sunflowers are an emerging source of renewable energy. Sunflowers are grown on several farms and then harvested for their oilseeds which are then converted to biodiesel and livestock feed. [Examiner.com]


September 16 Energy News

September 16, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Solar & Wind Power Can Be Cost-Competitive In Any Country, Says IEA” A new look at an almost-new report notes that the International Energy Agency says any country can reach a high share of renewable energy cost-effectively, mostly by relying on solar and wind power. [PlanetSave.com]

Science and Technology:

¶   This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history. [Huffington Post]

¶   Demonstration systems from Hawaii to the eastern banks of Canada are showing that a “fleet” of water or space heaters can act as a sort of fast-acting sponge that absorbs extra electricity on the grid, especially wind power, making the grid more stable and storing energy. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

World:

¶   The Legislative Affairs Office of China’s State Council released the first draft of the highly-anticipated revisions to the national Air Pollution Prevention and Control Law, providing hope that blue skies won’t always be so fleeting as they have been of late. [Energy Collective]

¶   A week before heads of state meet at the United Nations to discuss climate change, a major report on Tuesday from global political, environmental, and industry leaders says it’s possible to grow the world economy while tackling global warming. [National Geographic]

¶   Mainstream Renewable Power has signed an agreement with Swiss wind farm developer NEK Umwelttechnik to purchase the 225 MW Ayitepa Wind Farm in Ghana, which is under development. The project is expected to start generating power early in 2016. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶   The government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has lined up three major projects to produce 2,500 MW of solar power in the Rayalaseema region of the state. A memorandum of understanding for these projects will be signed tomorrow. [NDTV]

¶   Finland’s economy minister has rejected an application from power utility Teollisuuden Voima to extend the permit for a new nuclear reactor in the west of the country, throwing the project into doubt. [Reuters]

US:

¶   San Diego has one of the highest adoption rates of electric vehicles in the world, and it is seriously fashionable to drive an EV in San Diego. The city has a notable milestone to celebrate this year with more than 10,000 EVs on the roads in the metro region. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The proportion of coal miners who suffer from progressive massive fibrosis, a particularly lethal an advanced form of black lung disease, has skyrocketed in central Appalachia in recent years, according to experts with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. [Huffington Post]

¶   A group of four Vermonters is asking federal regulators to force Green Mountain Power to stop marketing its power as renewable. They say by selling credits for green power to customers out of state to offset fossil fuel use, GMP is effectively making Vermont dependent on coal and gas. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶   REC Solar, a national leader in commercial solar system design and installation, today announced growing momentum across the state of Hawaii, with the completion of six solar energy systems for Hawaii’s historic Dole Plantation and W.M. Keck Observatory. [AZoCleantech]

¶   US electric power holding company Duke Energy has made a $500 million commitment to the expansion of solar energy in North Carolina. The company will construct three PV facilities – totaling 128 MW of capacity – which will be built in Bladen, Duplin and Wilson counties. [PV-Tech]

¶   With the passage of HB 4385/SB 2214 early last month, Massachusetts has joined New Hampshire and Wisconsin as the only states to provide incentives for the use of clean, renewable fuels to heat and cool buildings. [The National Law Review]

¶   A mysterious telephone poll asked questions of Vermonters about the potential continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Neither Entergy, the plant’s owner, nor Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest utility, was involved. [Rutland Herald]


September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Happy nuclear free birthday to the people of Japan” Every birthday is special – but today Japan is celebrating something unique. Japan has been nuclear-free for one year. One year ago today, the last commercial nuclear reactor operating in Japan was shutdown. [Greenpeace International]

Science and Technology:

¶   Wind farms can interfere with ground radar systems due to turbine blades returning a radar signal that can be mistaken as an aircraft or weather pattern. New technology is being used in some Vestas turbines to reduce problems with radar. [Energy Matters]

¶   The director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency says in REthinking Energy — the first edition in a new IRENA series — that solar PV costs fell by two-thirds between the end of 2009 and 2013 – “a speed of change comparable to that seen in the IT revolution.” [eco-business.com]

World:

¶   At least 150 major companies worldwide – including ExxonMobil, Google, Microsoft and 26 others in the United States – are already making business plans that assume they will be taxed on their carbon pollution, a report today says. [USA TODAY]

¶   A pioneering new school project was opened in South Africa’s Gauteng Province. Harnessing the latest renewable energy technologies, the solar-powered internet school connects teachers and pupils to the internet, bringing them into the digital age. [The Guardian]

¶   Irrigators from around Australia have met to discuss how they can cope with rising electricity prices. Power prices in most Australian states have doubled over the past seven years, with higher network charges making up much of the increased costs. [ABC Online]

¶   More than 15,000 Australian businesses have installed solar power to reduce energy bills, and there is the potential for tens of thousands more to do so if the RET remains unchanged, the Clean Energy Council has said. [EcoGeneration]

¶   Leading environmentalists from 44 countries have teamed up to call on foundations and philanthropists around the world to use endowments worth billions of dollars to turn the tide on global warming. [reNews]

¶   Eight UK wind power companies are launching a campaign aimed at dispelling myths around onshore wind power, specifically to convince MPs that it is the cheapest and one of the most popular forms of renewable energy. [Business Green]

¶   A controversial windfarm has been given the go ahead by the UK government. The Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm was given permission by the planning inspectorate to start work on the project. It will see 32 wind turbines erected in the Clocaenog forest near Ruthin. [News North Wales]

US:

¶   The U.S. Navy and the University of Hawaii have formed a partnership to work on a $2.5 million energy research project to come up with a power grid modernization strategy and action plan to meet the future needs of the Navy in Hawaii. [Pacific Business News]

¶   A new poll said 88% of Wisconsin voters support an increase in solar energy use, and similar figures were recorded for biomass energy and wind power. One prominent environmentalist says voters clearly believe using more renewable energy would lead to more jobs in the state. [Public News Service]


September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2014

World:

¶   The six Central American countries had a total solar capacity of 6 MW in 2013. The total is expected to reach 22 MW by the end of 2014. However, market researcher IHS believes it can reach up to 243 MW in 2015 and continue growing rapidly from there. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Electric utility executives around the world are watching developments in Germany nervously as renewable technologies they once thought irrelevant begin to threaten established business plans. Many in poor countries are considering skipping the fossil age altogether. [New York Times]

¶   The first renewable energy scheme in Scotland to draw heat from a river is set to be installed by the University of Glasgow in a bid to lower the university’s heating bill by a quarter. A heat pump will extract latent heat from water that is between 8° C and 10° C all year round. [Herald Scotland]

¶   In an effort to mitigate spiralling energy prices after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japanese companies are pouring money into fuel-efficient technologies. Ireland’s Glen Dimplex’s fuel-efficient, energy-saving heating solutions have become a popular choice. [Irish Independent]

¶   India Power Corporation Ltd, a power generation and distribution company, is augmenting its renewable power procurement plans. It has also planned to add 200 MW of windpower capacity by the end of 2015. [Hindu Business Line]

US:

¶   A federal judge ruled last Thursday that BP acted with “gross negligence” in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. This decision could result in the company paying an estimated $18 billion in fines. Most must be spent on restoring the environment and coastal communities. [Energy Collective]

¶   After a seven-year-long investigation, scientists at the National Audubon Society issued a grim report finding that more than half of the 650 or so bird species in North America may be threatened by global warming. [Canada News]

¶   The two Democrats who hope to regulate utilities in Arizona admit they face an uphill battle winning election in a Republican state, but they insist they are on the right side of the issue that resonates most with voters: renewable power. [azcentral.com]

¶   Google’s most recent investment in renewable power is in a project that sits on an old oil and gas field. It is Google’s 17th large investment in renewables and puts the company’s total tab at more than $1.5 billion on three continents for a capacity of more than 2.5 GW. [Forbes]

¶   Olympic National Park in Washington says that for the first time in more than a century, chinook salmon have been spotted in the upper reaches of the Elwha River following the recent removal of two dams. [KOMO News]


September 13 Energy News

September 13, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Nuclear power – insanity at taxpayers’ and consumers’ expense” Nuclear power exists for one reason only, writes Ralph Nader – government support. Without the taxpayer subsidies, accident liability waivers and exploited consumers, nuclear power wouldn’t exist. [The Ecologist]

Science and Technology:

¶   The Archimedes, a Dutch renewable energy start-up is currently working on a novel wind turbine small enough to be mounted on the roof of a typical home, but which is still highly efficient at converting wind to energy and is nearly soundless. [Jetson Green]

¶   ABB has announced it will install its PowerStore solution, a commercial flywheel technology, to integrate with a battery system on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and enable the integration of more renewable energy from an expanded wind farm to the island’s microgrid. [North American Windpower]

World:

¶    Recently published analysis shows Chinese coal consumption fell for the first time this century in the first half of this year. Even more striking, China’s gross domestic product growth and coal consumption have decoupled, suggesting a structural shift in the Chinese economy. [Energy Collective]

¶   As part of its inaugural Rethinking Energy report, the International Renewable Energy Agency looks at some of the economic benefits that the now – it says – inevitable shift to renewables will bring. High among these is job creation. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Currently, Ontario gets 2312 MW of windpower, 4091 MW of hydro, and 159 MW of other renewable energy, for a total of 6562 MW of renewable energy. That means Ontario is getting 35% of its 19.000 grid load from renewable resources. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Indian Prime Minister Modi on Friday called for a solar-powered corridor along the India-Pakistan border in the deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat, with two pilot projects of 5 MW being initiated as part of promotion of the renewable energy, specially the solar energy. [Free Press Journal]

¶   A wind farm which will generate enough electricity to power around 14,000 homes has officially been opened in Scotland. The £26 million Twinshiels wind farm has 10 turbines and adjoins Eneco’s Tullo wind facility – a seven-turbine development. [Energy Live News]

¶   Siemens, together with universities and local utility Allgäuer Überlandwerk GmbH, will for three years look into how to best manage energy systems with distributed renewable power generation, batteries, district heating, biogas plants and diesel generators. [Mynextfone]

¶   Chile’s Environmental Assessment Service has approved a 698-MW solar power development. The ‘South Campos Sol project’ will require $1.6 billion in investment and will be built over more than 2,000 acres in the Copiapó province, in the Atacama Region. [PV-Tech]

US:

¶   A state energy board gave conditional approval Friday to a $140 million wind farm that would rise south of Blue Hill in south-central Nebraska. The Cottonwood Wind Project would have 52 turbines and a capacity to generate 89.5 MW of power. [Omaha World-Herald]

¶   Minnesota Power’s rededication ceremony of the 4-MW 91-year-old Winton hydroelectric station. The electric power company is highlighting its recent investments in its 11 Minnesota hydroelectric stations this year with its Hometown Hydro Celebration ceremonies. [Tower Timberjay News]

¶   Renewable energy is helping Montana families and businesses take charge of their power supply like never before. There are now more than 1,000 solar arrays, small-scale wind turbines and micro-hydro generators producing clean energy in the state. [MTPR]

¶   A new poll found that a substantial majority of Midwesterners believe renewable energy is a reliable and affordable option that is not only an increasing source of good jobs, but is also a good way to ensure the country’s energy generation is self-reliant and secure. [CleanTechnica]


September 12 Energy News

September 12, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Good News: EPA Standards Could Lower Electricity Bills” The Clean Power Plan may just spell out what many in the industry already knew: Fossil fuels are not as cheap as they may seem. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Science and Technology:

¶   Experts say the combined energy from two recent solar events will arrive at Earth on Saturday, prompting the Space Weather Prediction Center to issue a strong geomagnetic storm watch. Such storms can damage the electric grid – you might want to keep a flashlight handy. [CNN]

World:

¶   Contracts with connect the Greek islands of Mykonos, Paros, Tinos and Syros with Greece’s mainland grid have been signed. The cost of the project is €240 million, but the switch is expected to save Greek ratepayers €100 million each year. [pv magazine]

¶   What will the world look like in 2025? Expect a lot more solar power. In fact, according to a report by Thomson Reuters, in 2025, solar will be the primary source of energy on our planet. 2025 may sound a ways off, but it’s only 11 years away. [Energy Collective]

¶   The Indian government is expecting $ 100 billion investment in the renewable energy sector in the next four years as it firms up a new policy framework for the same. It also expects $ 50-60 billion investment in power transmission and distribution in the same time. [Economic Times]

¶   India is set to introduce an offshore wind policy targeting 1 GW by 2020, seeking to mimic Europe’s success in generating power at sea. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will seek cabinet approval for the policy shortly, according to Joint Secretary Alok Srivastava. [Businessweek]

¶   The cost of solar electricity generation will decline to half of the current level by 2020 in China, an important technological breakthrough in raising the use of the clean energy, making it the same as the cost of coal generated electricity. [ecns]

¶   Domestically generated renewable energy can be the next big “game-changer” for the Irish economy, creating “thousands of jobs” and saving the State more than €1 billion per year from the importation of fossil fuels, according to Glen Dimplex chief Sean O’Driscoll. [Irish Examiner]

¶   General Electric is considering investing in Polish wind farms in addition to providing turbines as changes in clean-energy subsidies encourage developers to hasten projects. Poland gets 90% of its power from coal and wants will go to auctions for fixed-price contracts in 2016. [Businessweek]

¶   The Director of the Electrical Inspectorate Services, Abayomi Adebisi announced in Abuja that the federal government of Nigeria plans to add about 2,483 MW of electricity from renewable sources to Nigeria’s electricity grid by 2015. [Nigerian Bulletin]

¶   Former prime minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, warned Ireland against following in his country’s nuclear footsteps. He told a panel of Irish energy-industry heavy hitters that nuclear power should be consigned to the history books within a few generations. [thejournal.ie]

US:

¶   Ohio utilities are asking their Public Utilities Commission to allow rate increases to cover extra costs of generating power at existing coal-burning power plants. But according to Public Policy Polling, most Ohio electricity customers said the request should be denied. [Public News Service]

¶   The three candidates for governor agree that energy costs in Maine are too high, but Republican Gov. Paul LePage, Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler are deeply divided in their visions for the state’s energy future. [Reading Eagle]

¶   Politically “red” and “blue” US states are increasingly turning green as they push energy efficiency and renewable power to save money and protect the planet, says a report today from Stanford University and the Hoover Institution with prominent bi-partisan support. [Sydney Morning Herald]


September 11 Energy News

September 11, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “This Revolution Is Not Being Televised” This new quiet revolution doesn’t show up in magazines or the nightly news, though it should. But like all revolutions, it is about power – in this case, electricity. [Huffington Post]

¶   “Wind energy keeps costs low and improves reliability” Congress must extend the renewable Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit as soon as possible, to provide wind power the critical policy stability Congress has given to other energy sources for the last 100 years. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶   A group of Australian solar power experts known as the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium has been working on printable solar cells over the past seven years. And they’re finally just about ready to hit the market. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶   Carlos Jericho Petilla is the Secretary of Energy for the Philippines. He recently explained that rooftop solar panels are now cheaper than coal there. The explanation is simple, and appeared in a publication of the Philippine Department of Energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Market research firm IHS has confirmed that there are currently 132 GW worth of solar PV projects at various stages of development around the world, with almost half of that residing in the US and China. China’s share is small compared to that of the US, however. [CleanTechnica]

¶   According to Lux Research, the solar industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.3% worldwide – from 37.5 GW in 2013 to 65.6 GW in 2019. Emerging trade disputes involving China, as well as global policies, still cast a shadow over short-term prospects. [Energy Collective]

¶   Helsinki recently announced some major environmental initiatives. The coolest of these may be the installation of an underwater reservoir tank 100 yards below the city center to store 9 million gallons of cold lake water. It will be used for a district cooling network. [inhabitat]

¶   The New Zealand Green Party’s clean energy plan aims for 100% renewable generation by 2030. They are pushing for a strong price on carbon and a new Green Investment Bank to slow investment in dirty energy, and want a single buyer to reduce bills. [TVNZ]

¶   More than 15,000 Australian businesses have installed solar panels says the Clean Energy Council. They invested almost $460 million in solar power systems for a saving of about $64 million on their bills every year. [Energy Matters]

¶   A former coal-burning thermal plant in northwestern Ontario is now operating entirely on biomass, making it the largest power plant in North America fuelled completely by biological material. The plant burned its last coal for electricity production on Sept. 11, 2012. [CanadianManufacturing.com]

¶   Friends of the Earth has denied dropping its opposition to nuclear power after the BBC reported that the green group had made a “huge and controversial shift” in its stance. The group’s executive director released a statement saying they were unchanged on nuclear. [The Guardian]

US:

¶   Google is providing $145 million in equity financing for the Regulus solar plant in Kern County, California. The 737-acre 82 MW solar PV power plant will feature over 248,000 SunEdison mono-crystalline solar PV modules. [Energy Business Review]

¶   The University of Iowa is working to achieve a “net-negative” energy growth this decade, meaning it aims to be using less energy in 2020 than it did in 2010, even as its campus expands. To do so, the university is ramping up its use of biomass. [Iowa City Press Citizen]

¶   By 2050, 80% of the electricity used in New Jersey should be generated by renewable energy, according to a bill being drafted by lawmakers. The proposal is expected to be introduced as early as Monday. [NJ Spotlight]

¶   The NRC rejected a recommendation from a senior federal expert that California’s last operating nuclear power plant be shut down until the agency can determine whether its twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults. [Bridge River Lillooet News]


September 10 Energy News

September 10, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   The world has more groundwater that is salty than fresh and drinkable. For example, 60% of India is underlain by salty water −and much of that has no electric grid to run conventional desalination plants. Sun-powered desalination could deliver clean water for off-grid villages. [ScienceDaily]

¶   The global shift to a world powered predominately by decentralised renewable energy is happening, whether we are ready for it or not. This is the main takeaway message from the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶   The construction of two of the world’s largest floating solar plants is set to begin in late September in Japan. Plans have begun to build a series of floating solar plants that combined will have a generating capacity of 60 MW. [Chinatopix]

¶   Swiss power company ABB has signed an $800 million (£497 million) contract to install a 100-mile cable under the Moray Firth to link up north-east Scotland’s power network. The cable will be equipped to transmit 1.2 GW of renewable energy into the grid by 2030. [Herald Scotland]

¶   Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian said that a wind power plant will be established with a generation capacity of 100 MW in Khaf region of Khorasan Razavi province, in northeastern Iran, by the end of the current year, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency. [Trend.az]

¶   The bill for decommissioning Britain’s ageing nuclear power stations has increased by £6 billion in a single year to almost £70 billion, campaigners warned yesterday. Manchester-based Nuclear Free Local Authorities called for switching from nuclear development to renewables. [Morning Star Online]

¶   Japan’s nuclear watchdog gave the green light for two reactors to restart, one year after the energy-poor country shut down its last unit in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis. Any restart is unlikely before the year end because other approvals are also necessary. [Channel News Asia]

US:

¶   New figures from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Q2 2014 U.S. Solar Market Insight report show that the US installed 1,133 MW of new solar PV capacity in the second quarter, pushing the cumulative operating capacity for solar power to 15.9 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Commissioners, utilities, and stakeholders in South Carolina are ironing out details of a solar law that enables third-party leasing and contemplates the state’s investor owned-utilities utilities installing 300 MW of renewable energy by 2021, up from about 8 MW currently. [Energy Collective]

¶   Maryland-based Enviva LP is investing $214 million in the two mills to make wood pellets to be shipped to customers in Europe from Wilmington, North Carolina. The pellets are made from pulverized chips, using low-value leftovers from the harvest of sawmill timber. [The State]

¶   Six months after the landmark installation of two power-producing wind turbines at Honda Transmission Mfg. of America, Inc., the turbines are producing 6.3% more renewable, low emissions electrical power than was originally anticipated. [MFRTech]

¶   A new factory producing cellulosic ethanol has just opened its doors in Iowa. Instead of using corn to produce the ethanol, the $275 million factory will use farm waste from left over corn stalks, husks, corn cobs, and leaves. It is expected to produce 25 million gallons per year. [OilPrice.com]

¶   Dakota Power Community Wind, led by a group of South Dakota landowners, is planning a wind farm of up to 1,000 MW. The project would supply power to the Rock Island Clean Line, a 500-mile line designed to transfer up to 3,500 MW to Chicago and eastern states by 2017. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]

¶   Construction has begun on a $1 billion solar power generating station in the Mojave Desert that officials say will produce 250 MW, enough electricity to power about 80,000 California homes, when it is completed in 2016. [PennEnergy]


September 9 Energy News

September 9, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Global mining group Rio Tinto has thrown its weight behind the continued role of coal in energy generation, arguing for the development of technologies to more efficiently generate electricity from coal as well as to capture its carbon emissions in tackling climate change. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   Unless the world urgently shifts to renewable and clean energy the impacts of climate change could be “catastrophic”, the International Renewable Energy Agency warns in their new report. REthinking Energy. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

World:

¶   Beyond the grid solar start-up Devergy believes the time has come for the next evolution in clean energy access markets: mini-grids. Their mini-grid systems consist of many solar home systems with battery back-up and charge controllers distributed throughout a village. [Energy Collective]

¶   The Chinese solar giant Suntech is aiming to install about 1 GW of new solar PV generation capacity in Japan during the next 3 years, according to an economic journal in Japan known as Nikkei Keizai Shimbun. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The assessment of AGL Energy, Australia’s largest privately-owned power generation company, is that Australia has too many dirty coal-fired power stations that have operated way beyond their working life, and their owners are refusing to shut them down. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Speeding up the adoption of renewable energy technologies is the most feasible route to reduce carbon emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. [PennEnergy]

¶   This week Denmark and Sweden hit major milestones in wind energy and waste management, respectively. Denmark has got 41.2% of its energy from wind so far this year. Sweden is sending only 1% of its waste to landfills, and actually imports waste to convert it to energy. [Energy Digital]

¶   Seven million people die due to air pollution across the world every year but deployment of renewable energy can check this trend, according to senior officials in Abu Dhabi. It can also have very positive socio-economic benefits. [gulfnews.com]

¶   Energy officials in Saudi Arabia have announced plans to become a major nuclear energy state. They intend to move fast, beginning construction by year’s end, on a program that will eventually include over a dozen nuclear power plants. [Forbes]

US:

¶   The US Energy Department is pumping $4.5 million to fund four new wind turbine technology projects, one of which will focus on analyzing bird and bat flight in and around wind farms and wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced on Wednesday a $102 million capital investment by the state in improving high-speed trains in the state. The capital will be used to construct a new bridge and double-track a busy corridor on the Chicago–St Louis high-speed train line. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The two Power Purchase Agreements signed with Frontier Renewables will provide solar energy to the University of California for 25 years. At the same time, the University will supply 206,000 MWh per year of solar energy to California’s electrical grid. [University Herald]

¶   A Montana state committee of four Democrats and four Republicans, voted 8-0 to give final approval to a study of the effectiveness of the Renewable Portfolio Standard that requires public utilities to obtain 15% of their retail customer sales from renewable resources by 2015. [Great Falls Tribune]

¶   San Diego Gas & Electric announced Monday that it is looking to buy 500-800 MW of electricity from local producers to replace what had flowed from the San Onofre power plant. At least 200 megawatts would need to come from renewable sources, according to SDG&E. [Seaside Courier]

¶   First Solar has kicked off construction work at the 250 MW Silver State South solar PV project in Primm, Nevada. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will own and operate the project, which is expected to be fully operational in early 2016. [reNews]


September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Clean Power Plan to Reward Texas, not Wyoming Coal-Backers” The coal industry’s doomsday rhetoric and heel dragging has hurt Texas a lot more than the Clean Power Plan will. We agree the future does not look bright for dirty coal companies. But that need not be Texas’ problem. [Energy Collective]

¶   “Fusion Power: The Case of the Wrong Competitors” Startups hoping to bring fusion power to the market will fail for a simple economic reason. While their power plants may be competitive with traditional nuclear or fossil fuel plants, they will not be competitive with wind or solar. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶   Renewable energy, essential for meeting global CO2 emission targets, needs a stable regulatory framework, a cut in fossil fuel subsidies and more interconnected power grids to develop, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Phys.Org]

¶   Recent developments in technology such as solar power, batteries, and smart thermostats and appliances could radically increase competition in the energy market, bring down bills and secure a decarbonized energy system, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research. [Scotsman]

World:

¶   The Australian government appears to be edging away from the closure of the country’s renewable energy target (RET) scheme, with the education minister, Christopher Pyne, reportedly giving his full support to the scheme at a private meeting. [The Guardian]
… The Australian Industry Minister Macfarlane and others within the Coalition are now publicly disowning the recommendations of the Warburton Review. Macfarlane told The Australian: “No one’s talking about scrapping the RET – no one.” [Business Spectator]

¶   Indian Coal and power minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday said the government is geared up to comply with the Supreme Court’s verdict on the fate of the “illegally” allocated captive coal blocks and will ensure “quick action” to provide adequate coal supplies to every power plant. [Indian Express]

¶   The so-called E7 group of the seven major emerging economies, which include the world’s biggest manufacturing centres, cut their carbon intensity – carbon dioxide emissions per dollar of gross domestic product – by an average of 1.7%, outpacing the G7 countries. [Financial Times]

¶   Renewable energy is the most competitive source of power, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The report highlights the energy landscape and analyses major dynamics under way. It is the product of four years of research. [The National]

US:

¶   A telephone poll, carried out between August 21-24, found that 76% of Coloradans support net metering. 73% were opposed to the state’s largest utility, XCEL Energy, cutting the amount of credit it provides for customers who feed electricity into the grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The partnership of Green Mountain Power and NRG Energy will deploy a series of new products and services for Vermont businesses and residents. Among them are a personal energy management system, community solar, and microgrid systems, along with others. [Foster's Daily Democrat]


September 7 Energy News

September 7, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Building bridge to clean energy” As New England closes older and dirtier generating facilities — such as coal plants and Vermont Yankee — and as we move transportation and home heating away from gasoline and oil, we need to make sure we transition to cleaner supplies. [Rutland Herald]

¶   “Will US Utilities Offer an Electricity Triple Play?” Could utilities create a value-added service that combines solar with fixed energy storage (both individual and community) and electric vehicles (EV) into an energy triple play? [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   The transition to a global renewable energy economy could save $71 trillion by the year 2050, according to an IEA report. Put another way, $44 trillion in investment by the year 2050 would translate to about $115 trillion in energy savings ($71 trillion in net savings). [CleanTechnica]

¶   This summer, the community of Kisielice won the European Commission’s ManagEnergy Award 2014, the top prize for outstanding local and regional sustainable energy projects. The town has replaced dependence on coal with 94.5 MW, of wind turbines and 6 MW of biomass. [Energy Collective]

¶   The Philippine Department of Energy is pushing for more renewable energy. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the Philippines can rely on the stability of renewable sources as oil prices go up or if there is a shortage in supply in the global market. [Rappler]

¶   Indian’s Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal stated in Delhi on Saturday that a solar power park with generation capacity of 1,000 MW would be set up in Mahabubnagar district. [The Hindu]

¶   Six UK renewable energy trade associations have issued a joint call for “clear and consistent” backing for renewables ahead of the next general election. The group argues that the sector can cut reliance on volatile energy imports, help meet emissions targets, and create high value jobs. [Business Green]

¶   The government of South Africa is unflinching in its drive for more nuclear energy and will press ahead with the project, brushing aside concerns about affordability and urgency. It is estimated the nuclear programme will cost the country between $28 Billion and $93.5 billion. [Independent Online]

US:

¶   California’s monopoly utilities failed in what many perceive as their latest attempt to squash community choice aggregates. Assemblyman Steven Bradford could not find a senator willing to sponsor his controversial bill. California’s “Monopoly Protection Act,” AB 2145, is dead. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The day of the solar garden has dawned as the number of projects and investment dollars have piled up across the nation. About 30 community-based solar arrays, or gardens, have been built or are planned in Colorado, while at least 37 are slated in 17 other states. [The Denver Post]

¶   Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard puts the onus on counties and municipalities to develop their own alternative energy projects. Four years after it was put into place, Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico counties have just begun to adopt larger alternative energy solutions. [Delmarva Daily Times]

¶   Long stymied by high costs and local opposition, offshore wind is finally nearing takeoff in the Untied States as 14 projects enter “advanced stages” of development, the Energy Department reports. These projects represent about 4.9 GW of capacity. [Pensacola News Journal]

¶   First Solar, based in Arizona, announced Thursday that it had completed the first phase of its Barilla Solar Project, adding about 18 megawatts of solar capacity to Texas’ electric grid. The company expects to have a total of 30 megawatts installed by the end of the year. [Midland Reporter-Telegram]


June 6 Energy News

September 6, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   In a research paper released by the journal Nature Communications, Dr Patrik Jones of Imperial College London and the University of Turku in Finland and his colleagues have reported, for the first time, a synthetic metabolic pathway for producing renewable propane. [Sci-News.com]

World:

¶   A national study, conducted throughout the month of August, surveyed approximately 1000 Australians and found that 82% of respondents believe the Renewable Energy Target should definitely or probably be kept in place, with only 17% taking the opposing side of the argument. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Change is underway, with distributed energy installations expected to grow from 87.3 GW in 2014 to 165.5 GW in 2023, according to Navigant Research, with worldwide revenue growing from $97 billion in 2014 to more than $182 billion by 2023. [SustainableBusiness.com]

¶   SunEdison has announced that it has signed an agreement with Antofagasta Minerals to set up 69.5 MW solar photovoltaic power project at a copper mine in Chile. Antofagasta plans to use solar power to meet a part of the electricity demand at its Los Pelambres mine. [CleanTechnica]

¶   An annual survey conducted by the Beijing Environmental Publicity Center and Tsinghua University showed that about 50% of the people surveyed favored of an environmental tax to control air pollution in the city. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Japan will push nuclear operators to draft plans to scrap a quarter of the country’s 48 reactors, which are either too old or too costly to upgrade to meet new standards imposed after the Fukushima disaster, the Nikkei reported on Friday. [Scientific American]

US:

¶   Construction has begun on a $1 billion solar power generating station in the Mojave Desert that officials say will produce 250 MW, enough electricity to power about 80,000 California homes, when completed in 2016. [Press Herald]

¶   The military is going green, but not for fun or for positive public relations. They are doing it because it saves lives and money. For every $10 rise in the price of a barrel of oil, it costs the Department of Defense an additional $1.3 billion. [Huffington Post]

¶   After one year afloat off the shore of Castine, Maine the VolturnUS off-shore floating wind turbine project has been deemed a success. The project is a prototype for a larger scale off-shore floating wind turbine. It held strong through the year, even through a brutal winter. [WABI]

¶   The amount of electricity generated by “community solar” power systems, in which individuals or businesses can buy or lease individual solar power panels, has grown rapidly in the last few years in Colorado — and may be poised for even bigger growth. [9NEWS.com]

¶   The Northeast United States’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s 25th CO2 allowance auction generated nearly $88 million for clean energy projects. Only last month the California Air Resources Board announced its latest cap-and-trade market auction tallied nearly $332 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Customers of Snohomish County Public Utility District In Washington have hit another milestone: their combined solar energy capacity stands at 3 MW, up 50% from just one year ago. About 500 PUD customers now generate part of their electricity with photovoltaic solar units. [My Everett News]

¶   US developers will install 6.5 GW of solar panels this year, 36% more than in 2013 and more than three times the market size three years ago. Total solar-power capacity in the US neared 16 GW, enough to power 3.2 million homes at any given time. [MarketWatch]


September 5 Energy News

September 5, 2014

World:

¶   The number of Australian houses adding rooftop solar continues to surprise the network operators, with another 2,794 systems of 5 kW or less added during the month of August. The total new capacity is 11.5 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶   A new research paper from Lux predicts the solar industry should grow 75% by 2019. The Asia Pacific region is expected lead the world, in terms of expansion, throughout this period, and more than 50% of demand will come from this region. [CleanTechnica]

¶   This week the Indian court system handed down three landmark energy rulings. While an ultimate decision still looms, the combined weight of these initial rulings reaffirms one thing — it’s time to diversify away from coal. [Energy Collective]

¶   The South African government’s plan to bring more power into the national grid through procurement from independent power producers has a hit a technical obstacle. The state utility cannot connect projects of all successful bidders until the grid is strengthened. [BDlive]

¶   UK offshore wind farm capacity is set to hit 11 GW and attract £4.6 billion of investment by the end of the decade, according to a new report from GlobalData. This growth means the US would have 36% of global offshore capacity. Current capacity is 3.7 GW. [Business Green]

¶   A report published by Bridge To India in association with Tata Power Solar states that India has the potential to install 145 GW of solar power capacity across various project sizes by 2024. The considers covers plant sizes from 1 kW to 3 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶   German federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern produced enough power from renewable sources last year to satisfy its entire demand, a direct consequence of the country’s ambitious shift toward green power and away from nuclear. [Reuters]

¶   An estimated 600,000 cubic km of water under Glasgow, Scotland is accessible in abandoned mines. A pilot project has been using the water to heat apartments for ten years. The water is drawn, its heat extracted, and it is returned to the mines where it absorbs heat from the earth. [Business Reporter]

¶   Australia’s Senate voted to repeal the 2006 Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act, ending the country’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program. This is intended to save industries $16.6 million. The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association welcomed the vote. [Platts]

US:

¶   A report from the US DOE estimated that the 54 GW of offshore wind could reduce the national annual electricity production costs by approximately $7.68 billion by 2030. This corresponds to approximately $41 per MWh of offshore wind added to the grid. [Power Online]

¶   The city of Burlington, Vermont now owns or has enough contracts with renewable energy facilities to provide 100% of the city’s electric needs, as the city’s municipal electric utility has completed the $16.3 million purchase of the 7.4-MW Winooski One Hydroelectric Facility. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶   New York Governor Cuomo today announced the rollout of “K-Solar,” a landmark program under the $1 billion “NY-Sun” initiative, to help public school districts throughout New York lower their energy costs with clean, local power. [Niagara Frontier Publications]

¶   OCI Solar Power recently completed the Alamo 4 solar farm in Brackettville, Texas that will generate 39 MW. The project has more than 150,000 solar panels on 600 acres of privately-owned land. Some 550 workers were involved during construction. [San Antonio Business Journal]

¶   Ohio University has launched a solar-powered micro-grid pilot project that will allow a small group of property owners to generate, store, and distribute their own electricity instead of depending on a large utility like American Electric Power. [WOSU]


September 4 Energy News

September 4, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Fossil Fuel Divestment: A $5 Trillion Challenge or Opportunity?” Skeptics dismiss divestment as a peripheral threat to fossil fuel’s dominance, but it’s a major opportunity in the fight to decarbonize our society and slow the expanding impacts of climate change. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   New findings from Navigant Research suggest that cumulative spending on energy-efficient buildings in Europe is expected to total nearly $800 billion through 2014 to 2023. The report analyzed the market in the European Union as well as Norway and Switzerland. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The latest statistics from NPD Solarbuzz predict that by the end of 2018 there will be at least nine countries with installed solar PV capacity levels above 5 GW. But they expect China to surpass the 100 GW capacity mark in the same year. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Renewable energy technologies are getting a boost in Africa, driven by the need to power base stations for mobile phone operators in rural areas that are unconnected to national power grids. Companies are selling phone chargers and enabling customers to light their homes. [AFKInsider]

¶   Carbon emissions from the Australian electricity grid rose after the repeal of the carbon price, with analysts predicting further increases as coal-fired power takes a greater share of Australia’s energy mix. During July and August alone, there was an increase of 0.8% in emissions. [The Guardian]

¶   SolarReserve, a US solar giant in talks with miners in Queensland and Western Australia about its groundbreaking 24-hour-a-day solar power stations, says Australia’s proposed renewable energy reforms are “catastrophic” for the local industry. [Courier Mail]

¶   The Energy Minister of the Australian Capital Territory intends to rally state governments to implement their own renewable energy policies should the Abbott government adopt the “dismal” recommendations of the Warburton review. [RenewEconomy]

¶   In a speech to Australia’s House of Representatives, Clive Palmer took the Government’s attitude to renewable energy to task. It appears Mr. Palmer believes the Renewable Energy Target review was a waste of taxpayer money. [Energy Matters] (Palmer leads a party that has three critical votes in the senate; if they do not vote to alter it, the RET may be retained as it is.)

¶   More than half of the 160 turbines at RWE Innogy UK’s Gwynt y Môr wind farm off the North Wales coast, have been commissioned and are generating electricity. The milestone was reached last week with the 81st turbine connected to the National Grid. [News North Wales]

¶   Wind power provided a record 41.2% of Denmark’s electricity consumption in the first half of 2014, power grid operator Energinet.dk said in its half-year report published Tuesday. Wind energy accounted for 33.2% of the country’s energy consumption in 2013. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   India and Australia are set to seal a deal on Friday that will see Australia sell uranium to Asia’s third largest economy, and put commercial ties on a firmer footing. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued a statement on the subject. [Livemint]

US:

¶   Duke Energy’s commercial business unit Duke Energy Renewables is planning to construct, own and operate 110 MW Los Vientos V wind power project in Starr County, Texas. Vestas, based in Denmark, will supply 55 2-MW turbines for the wind farm. [Energy Business Review]

¶   Solar energy is quickly becoming popular with homeowners for saving on their energy bills and decreasing their carbon footprints as they do. In southern Nevada, a new program can provide homeowners with a rebate of 40¢ per watt to approved new installations. [PR.com]

¶   Palo Alto, California, a town of 65,000. boasts that, since last year, it is officially the first city in America whose electricity supply is 100% carbon-neutral. This is partly because the town has its own utility and owns a large interest in a hydroelectric project. [Slate Magazine]


September 3 Energy News

September 3, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Dept. of Energy Report Shows How Far U.S. Wind Energy Has Come and the Challenges Ahead” For US wind power, last year was both the best of times and the worst of times. That’s the conclusion from the new Wind Technologies Market Report released last week by the US DOE. [Energy Collective]

Science and Technology:

¶   A new study says that as the world gets warmer with climate change, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of that cold air. Researchers say that’s because of shrinking ice in the seas off Russia. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶    A recent study stated EU electricity prices have fallen 35%-40% since 2008, but those savings have not been passed on to consumers. Also, Germany’s grid appears to be getting more stable, and Germany obtained 31% of its energy from green sources July YTD. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Australia’s largest solar farm has officially opened at Royalla, south of Canberra. The 20 MW Royalla Solar Farm, developed by the Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, is made up of 83,000 solar panels and has the capacity to power more than 4,500 homes. [Yahoo!7 News]

¶   Power outages hit large parts of Mumbai, India when a power station with a generation capacity of 500 MW tripped, forcing Tata Power to switch off power. This caused a domino effect with rotational load-shedding in its areas in the city’s western suburbs. [Times of India]

¶   Solar power will provide Myanmar with up to 12% of its electricity needs after US officials and private equity fund ACO Investment Group signed an agreement with Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power to build two 150 MW solar plants in the nation’s Manderlay region. [Energy Matters]

¶   A solar power plant in Vienna, built in 2013, produces 1,000 MWh annually and supplies around 400 households. It also offers a home to 13 protected species of grasshoppers and crickets, praying mantis, as well as field hamsters, moths, snails, lizards, spiders and beetles. [The Local Austria]

¶   A massive windfarm development in the Outer Moray Firth has won Scottish Government approval. The Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd scheme has been awarded a marine licence for up to 186 turbines to be sited 14 miles offshore. They will produce up to 372 MW. [Aberdeen Press and Journal]

¶   The review’s recommendations, issued last week, to close the large-scale RET to new investment or set targets on an annual basis, would swell power bills and throw a shadow of sovereign risk over the entire Australian economy, according to a statement from GE. [Courier Mail]

¶   RenewableUK, the country’s leading renewable trade association, announced Monday that UK wind had exceeded coal on the 3rd, 9th, 11th, 12th, and 17th of August. Wind also beat out nuclear on the 29th of August. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   After decades of very little build-out of new transmission lines, US investor-owned utilities have boosted spending fivefold over the last 15 years. The driving factors have been needs for resiliency initiatives, along with new preparations for managing distributed energy. [Energy Collective]

¶   Executives of Green Mountain Power and NRG Energy announced a partnership Tuesday that will see the companies working together to create a “microgrid” in Vermont and offer an array of products and services intended to help customers be more efficient and save money. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶   A report from Environmental Entrepreneurs shows that more than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the second quarter of this year. Solar power generation led with more than 5,300 jobs announced. Wind posted more than 2,700 jobs. [Solar Industry]

¶   Solarize Rhode Island, a program aimed at reducing the costs of rooftop solar power systems, has been announced. The program is a partnership between the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the state Office of Energy Resources and the nonprofit marketing firm Smartpower. [The Providence Journal]


September 2 Energy News

September 2, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “The Upcoming Crisis for Fortis Inc and TransAlta Corporation” Power generators aren’t nearly as safe as investors think they are. What’s the upcoming crisis? It’s solar energy.  The risk is that you and I will put solar panels on our roofs. [The Motley Fool Canada]

Science and Technology:

¶   A team at the University of Liverpool set out to find a replacement for the expensive and toxic cadmium chloride used in coating some PVs. They tested numerous alternatives and found that magnesium chloride yielded comparable efficiency. [Scientific American]

World:

¶   The respected International Energy Agency (IEA) has found that world renewable energy capacity grew at the fastest ever annual rate in 2013. Renewable energy now accounts for 22% of the world’s electricity generation, and that figure is expected to climb to 26% by 2020. [The9Billion]
… According to the latest report from the IEA, renewable energy now accounts for 80% of new generation among the 34 developed countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Policy uncertainty remains a threat, however. [CleanTechnica]

¶   New solar PV projects are currently being developed in Japan by First Solar total 250 MW, according to recent reports. The company is reportedly expecting its rooftop sector in the country to eventually grow to be even larger than its commercial-scale segment. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Vestas has received a firm and unconditional order for 29 V100-2.0 MW turbines for a wind power project in Poland. The order was placed by EDF Energies Nouvelles, a leader in renewable energy power generation. [Power Online]

¶   The firm hired by the Abbott government to conduct the modelling for its controversial review of the Renewable Energy Target has admitted it was instructed to ignore commercial reality – particularly around coal-fired power generation. [RenewEconomy]

¶   In the midst of a suburban sprawl halfway between the Eiffel Tower and Paris’s busy Orly airport, a drilling crew works night and day burrowing deep into the Earth’s crust in search of underground heat. The wells will provide heat to nearby homes, schools, and hospitals. [The Rakyat Post]

¶   Sales of solar cell modules in Japan rose 14% to 1.88 GW in April through June from a year earlier, industry data showed, supported by the government scheme to speed up the installation of renewable energy. [Reuters Africa]

US:

¶   Facing unprecedented, industry-wide declines in electric and water sales over the last decade, officials of JEA, which provides electric, water, and sewer services to residents of Jacksonville, Florida, are searching for new ways to make money. [St. Augustine Record]

¶   In Connecticut, both Ansonia and Derby are going ‘green’ in order to save some green. Plans to install thousands of solar panels over each of the cities’ closed landfills are projected to save more than $1 million in electricity costs over the next 15-20 years. [New Haven Register]

¶   For various reasons — including logistics, economics and permitting issues — geothermal has not even come close to reaching its potential in the US. That could change with the introduction of a series of bills that may hasten its development and remove some bureaucratic obstacles. [OilPrice.com]

¶   The Guam Power Authority is on track to lose $4.5 million this fiscal year because of customers who are using less power or who have started using alternative energy sources, such as solar panels. In response, it is considering changing the way customers are billed for power. [Pacific Daily News]

¶   Just months after being ordered to lift their game on distributed, grid-connected solar, Hawaii’s investor-owned electric companies have revealed plans to triple the amount of rooftop solar installed on the island state by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Impatient with the pace at which states and the federal government are confronting climate change, communities from the coast to coast have begun taking steps to elbow aside big electricity companies and find green power themselves. [Los Angeles Times]


September 1 Energy News

September 1, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Fossil fuels win battle, but will they win the war?” In Australia, the fossil fuel industry appears to hold absolute power and is able to bring the Renewable Energy Target to a halt. But while they have won a key battle,  it is by no means certain that they will win the war. [Echonetdaily]

Science and Technology:

¶   According to a team of scientists at Stanford University. The researchers have developed a low-cost, emission-free mechanism that uses a 1.5-volt battery to split water into its constituent elements of oxygen and hydrogen. This could be the basis for inexpensive hydrogen. [Motley Fool]

World:

¶   The Indian government plans to take advantage of clauses in the WTO agreements to subsidise solar power projects by the army, railways, and public sector enterprises. Under the plan, the Indian army and public sector companies will set up 1,000-MW solar PV projects each. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Neyveli Lignite Corporation, an Indian government-owned lignite mining and power generating company, is planning to invest over Rs 500 crore ($82.7 million) in renewable energy projects. The company plans to set up over 80 MW of wind and solar energy projects. [Business Standard]

¶   In the UK, the Liberal Democrats have plans for five new laws to protect the environment. They plan legal targets for clean air and water, an end to dirty coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector. [Liberal Democrats]

¶   The Japanese government may be considering a significant increase in its renewable energy targets. According to the Kyodo news agency, the Environment Minister said the country should aim to source 30% of its power from renewable sources by 2030. [Business Green]

¶   South Australia’s Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter has condemned the recently released Renewable Energy Target Review report, referring to the move by the Abbott Government to scale back the RET as “anti-science.” [Energy Matters]

¶   UK anti-nuclear campaigners have called on EDF Energy to give up its nuclear ambitions for Somerset and elsewhere following a report from UBS, a multinational investment bank, which says it is time to: “join the solar revolution”. [South West Business]

¶   Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict, a Greenpeace nuclear energy expert told a German newspaper, claiming that its nuclear reactors are not protected from armor-piercing weapons. [RT]

¶   In China, a State Council meeting Wednesday determined the government’s focus on several major projects, including beefing up development of renewable energy, and starting construction of wind power, hydro power, solar power and coastal nuclear plants. [WantChinaTimes]

US:

¶   Just days after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection disclosed 243 cases of contamination from oil and gas drilling operations, a major drilling company has voluntarily dropped an attempt to force its operations upon unwilling property owners. [CleanTechnica]

¶   New Mexico’s largest electric utility is underestimating the costs that will be passed on to customers under a proposal to shut down part of an aging coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico, according to a regulatory filing made by advocates of renewable energy. [Peninsula On-line]

¶   The Austin City Council approved a resolution that brings solar to the foreground in Texas. And, perhaps most interestingly, they did so because it made business – and not just environmental – sense in current energy markets. [Scientific American]

¶   The US government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go. The latest government plans call for having an interim test storage site in 2021 and a long-term geologic depository in 2048. [TheDay.com]

¶   With the Islamic State (ISIS) reportedly trying to recruit terror operatives just across our southern border, one terrorism expert — an ex-CIA officer — is warning of an “imminent threat” to the US electric grid. [Western Journalism]


August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Climate Scientists Spell Out Stark Danger And Immorality Of Inaction In New Leaked Report” We can still stop the worst — with virtually no impact on growth — but future generations will not be able reverse whatever we are too greedy and shortsighted to prevent. [Energy Collective]

¶   “Reasons for optimism as the US readies for Paris climate negotiations” The project manager for the Powering Forward Plan being produced by the Center for the New Energy Economy of the Colorado State University shares his reasons for being optimistic about climate change. [Mountain Town News]

¶   “Australia sleepwalks toward a dangerous nuclear future” An informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion, says Dr Helen Caldicott, however as we sleepwalk towards embracing nuclear energy, most Australians are not aware of the dangers and have forgotten the history. [Independent Australia]

World:

¶   One of the most important pieces of news of the summer made virtually no headlines at all, and seemed to only appear on the website of the US Energy Information Administration. It is that 127 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are running out of cash. [Resilience]

¶   According to Volvo, compared against a conventional diesel bus, the plug-in 7900 Electric Hybrid bus uses up to 75% less fuel, dropping CO2 emissions. Overall energy consumption is reduced by somewhere around 60%. The 7900 Electric Hybrid is about to be released. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Indian State of Piyush Goyal will launch three efficiency initiatives developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency. They include design guidelines for energy-efficient multi-story residential buildings and star ratings for hospital buildings and diesel generators. [indiablooms]

¶   The Indian textile industry, in collaboration with German International Cooperation, has achieved its target of saving over 10 MW of electricity through implementation of Energy Management Systems in several mills. [The Nation]

¶   When the Seychellois head of state visited the University of Auckland, discussions with the Dean of the Faculty and other faculty staff centred on the university’s research into renewable energy such solar energy, geothermal energy, wind power, and bio-fuel. [Seychelles News Agency]

¶   Nicaragua’s latest revolution is a switch to green energy. The country is drawing a parade of distinguished admirers coming to examine how the nation is radically changing its energy footprint with an aggressive goal of becoming a green-energy powerhouse. [The Seattle Times]

US:

¶   Electric operators in New England have been both generating more electricity from natural gas and importing more hydroelectric generation from Quebec over the past decade. These two sources of electricity are displacing the use of coal and oil as generation fuels in the region. [Energy Collective]

¶   Kit Carson Electric buys its electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Under a contract that does not expire until 2040, Kit Carson is only allowed to generate 5% of its total energy use through renewable sources, but it may get the chance to renegotiate the contract. [taosnews]

¶   The City of Anaheim, California announced the completion of a 2.4-MW solar panel system on the Anaheim Convention Center. The $5.7 million project has 7,908 installed solar panels, making it the largest city-owned, convention center, roof-mounted system in North America. [Orange County Breeze]

¶   Georgia Power said its $6.7 billion budget to build a new nuclear plant at Plant Vogtle is holding steady, but it reported that builders face “challenges” sticking to the construction schedule and costs could change in the future. There may be further construction delays. [Valdosta Daily Times]


August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Water is an ancient power source, one usually exploited by harnessing its flow. For decades, though, scientists have been working on another kind of water power — one relying on salt. This technique exploits the natural process of osmosis. [Wall Street Journal]

World:

¶   Solar panel canopies are to be placed above leisure center parking lots in the UK city of Nottingham. In all, the canopies will cost the council £2 million. They should generate £200,000 worth of energy a year, so in ten years they will be generating that free as income. [Nottingham Post]

¶   The Samoa government has officially opened the country’s first wind energy project at Vailoa Aleipata on the southern coast of Upolu island. The Aleipata wind farm includes two 55 meter high wind turbines, each with a capacity of 275 kW. [Radio New Zealand]

¶   The Russian government has accepted the Energy Ministry’s proposal for Russia to join the International Renewable Energy Agency. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a corresponding document, the cabinet website said on Friday. [ITAR-TASS]

¶   Greenpeace volunteers have launched a “peaceful campaign” in front of a solar station in south Amman, Jordan, demanding that the government switch its energy plans from nuclear to renewable. [Bakken.com]

¶   Two innovative renewable energy projects are moving forward in Scotland: Britain’s first tidal power array, and the world’s first deployment of two-bladed wind offshore turbines. The experimental technologies are hoped to achieve significant cost savings. [The Ecologist]

¶   Ecodrive and Wattstor teamed up with the University of Exeter to monitor and manage the monetary value of the most expensive element of an electric vehicle – its battery. The result could produce a change in the way EVs are marketed. [Western Morning News]

¶   A 400 kg (882 pound) machine part fell into a nuclear fuel pool at Japan’s crippled Fukushima plant Friday, the operator said. TEPCO said it had not detected any significant changes in radiation readings or in the level of pool water at the No. 3 reactor. [The Straits Times]

US:

¶   SolarCity plans a 1 GW integrated PV manufacturing plant to use technology developed by recently acquired Silevo. According to recent reports, the plant is expected to cost somewhere between $400–$450 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶   After more than a year of study, United Water has decided to develop a small hydroelectric power plant at the Dundee Dam to produce enough power to supply 1,000 homes. The dam is on New Jersey’s Passaic River, where it runs between Garfield and Clifton. [NorthJersey.com]

¶   Utah solar advocates and customers are hailing a decision Friday by the Utah Public Service Commission to reject Rocky Mountain Power’s request of a monthly fee for rooftop solar homes. The commission, in its order, said it could not rule that the fee was justified. [Deseret News]

¶   Austin Energy could be a greenhouse-gas-free utility eventually, as the Austin City Council passed a measure requiring the utility to make larger investments in renewable energy. The goal is for the utility to be completely green by 2030. [Austin Business Journal]

¶   As utilities across the US grapple with stagnant electricity sales, many see opportunity in the fledgling need for electric-car charging stations. But some companies’ tactics are spurring complaints from consumer advocates. [Wall Street Journal]


August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Fossil fuels win battle over RET, but will they win the war?” Time is not on the side of the Australian power generators. UBS has warned that mass grid defections could happen as early as 2018, and that centralized generation could be largely extinct in a decade. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶   The tar sands industry’s tailings problem is a growing liability and it is getting worse. For every barrel of tar sands bitumen produced (the semi-solid substance from which oil is eventually refined), 1.5 barrels of toxic liquid waste is added to the tailings ponds. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   The expansion of renewable energy will slow over the next five years unless policy uncertainty is diminished, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today in its third annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report. [Eurasia Review]

¶   Japan’s Ministry of Environment has earmarked ¥300 million ($2.89 million) in its budget request for fiscal 2015 from April for a nationwide survey into the viability of the small hydropower generators, which can be installed at relatively a small cost and take up little space. [GlobalPost]

¶   The world’s largest working advanced digestion plant opened in Manchester, UK. It handles the sewage of 1.2 million people, putting enough surplus power to the UK grid to power 25,000 homes. It uses waste formerly dumped in the Irish Sea. [Energy Voice]

¶   The Scottish Government has granted a windfarm planned for Aberdeen Bay its final planning consent. The development remains tied up in court battles with US tycoon Donald Trump, who has led a bitter public campaign against the project. [Aberdeen Press and Journal]

¶   Europe has released it non-binding target for renewable energy at 27% by 2030. In response the IEA has raised the alarm and is asking for a clear and stable framework in a report that raises questions about how effective the overall non-binding target can be. [Domestic Fuel]

¶   A carbon tax is set to go before Chile’s House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the second country in Latin America to have a carbon tax, after Mexico. [ThinkProgress]

US:

¶   A new study, published online in the journal Nature Climate Change, has found that savings from health benefits dwarf the estimated $14 billion cost of a cap-and-trade program. It says the health savings outweigh cap-and-trade pollution abatement costs more than 10 times over. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Fluor Corporation has completed the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning for both phases of LS Power’s 170 MW Centinela solar energy facility near El Centro, California. The project has more than 875,000 solar PV panels on its 1,600-acre site. [reNews]

¶   Maine regulators have given preliminary approval to US developer First Wind’s up to 206 MW Bingham wind project. Subsidiary Blue Sky West proposes to use 3 MW or 3.3 MW machines, either the Vestas V112 or Siemens SWT 113. [reNews]

¶   More and more utilities say they buy wind energy to save their customers money. In some places, wind is now the cheapest way to add electrical generating capacity. It provides a great long-term hedge against rising prices for natural gas everywhere. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In three of the last ten months, renewable energy accounted for 100% of new US electricity capacity twice and 99.3% once. As wind power and solar power have gotten cheaper, they have become cost-competitive, even without considering the market price of fossil fuel externalities. [Treehugger]


August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶    GE’s Energy Consulting business has presented an extensive study that modeled the Eastern Interconnection in the US. It determined that when equipped with the appropriate modern plant controls, wind applications can substantially enhance grid resiliency. [EarthTechling]

¶   The two major forecasting agencies, Washington’s EIA and Paris’ IEA, are both more pessimistic about growth in shale oil production than is generally known for they both foresee US shale oil production leveling off as soon as 2016. [Resilience]

World:

¶   The Australian federal government has released its review of the Renewable Energy Target. It concludes the costs of the scheme “outweigh its benefits” and has recommended the scheme either be shelved or changed. [Business Insider Australia]

¶   Germany, which has come to rely heavily on wind and solar power in recent years, is launching more than 20 demonstration projects that involve storing energy by splitting water into hydrogen gas and oxygen. [MIT Technology Review]

¶   According to the EIA’s annual Medium-term Renewable Energy Market report, power generation from renewable sources including wind, solar and hydro reached almost 22% of global production. But they project that growth will slow after 2014. [Recharge]

¶   In 2013 world geothermal electricity-generating capacity grew 3% to top 11700 MW across 24 countries. Though wind power has expanded 21% per year since 2008 and solar power has grown at a blistering 53% annual rate, this was geothermal’s best year in the time. [MENAFN.COM]

¶   A new poll in Brazil shows that an unexpected challenger in the 2014 presidential election would defeat the incumbent president in a hypothetical run-off. Marina Silva, an ardent environmentalist, has vaulted to the front of the pack. [OilPrice.com]

¶   GE announced today it has achieved a total installed capacity of 1 GW of wind energy in Brazil. During the first half of 2014, GE connected 381 wind turbines to the grid in Brazil, providing 600 MW of capacity to the country. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   Belgian power prices are soaring on concern that two nuclear reactors will remain shut into next year, potentially threatening supplies to factories. The premium for Belgian wholesale costs for the fourth quarter over those in the Netherlands closed at a record Tuesday. [Chicago Tribune]

US:

¶   Renewable energy sources accounted for 14.3% of net US electrical generation in the first half of the year, according to a new report by the EIA. Last year, the EIA forecast that the US would reach the 14% renewable mark in 2040. [pv magazine]
… From June 2013 to June 2014, the US produced more than 12,000 GWh of solar power, compared to around 5,600 GWh from June 2012 to June 2013. This is an increase of over 210%, year-on-year. [Smithsonian]

¶   Hawaiian Electric Company released details of its plan for the state’s energy future. It calls for 65% of all electricity generated on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County to come from renewables. However, environmental groups say the plan relies too heavily on natural gas. [KITV Honolulu]

¶   Minnesota Power and the Minnesota National Guard are expected to sign a partnership today to build a $25 million solar farm that will supply Camp Ripley with much of its electrical needs. The 10 MW solar farm on 100 acres and will be the largest contiguous solar farm in Minnesota. [Brainerd Daily Dispatch]

¶   Michigan’s Thumb area is well known for the diversity of crop production, from carrots to strawberries to wheat, hay, corn, soybeans, sugar beets and some of the finest dairy herds in Michigan. Now, this rich agricultural area is producing a new “crop” of windpower. [Farmers Advance]


August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Renewable Energy Momentum Has Passed The Tipping Point” Here in the ides of August, 2014, there exists clear, overwhelmingly convincing evidence that we have passed the tipping point for change into the renewable energy era. [CleanTechnica]

¶   “Retail vs Wholesale Energy Pricing: 1 Reason It’s Easy For Rooftop Solar To Be Cost Effective” When residential folks put up solar PVs, we only have to beat the price on our energy bills, which is retail. That makes it easier for rooftop solar to beat utility price rates. [CleanTechnica]

¶   “Why wind wreckers are often left snatching at air” Each year, Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory put out a superb report documenting developments in the US wind power market. [Business Spectator]

World:

¶   Indian wind turbine manufacturers and project developers have been advised by the government to make efforts to increase annual capacity addition to five times its current level, a leading Indian newspaper has reported. That means 10,000 MW is to be added each year. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Mayor of Warsaw has complained to the Polish government that 2030 clean energy goals which Poland believed too radical were in fact unambitious, undemocratically decided, and risk spiking EU decarbonisation moves, in a letter seen by EurActiv. [EurActiv]

¶   SunWize Technologies has announced completion of the installation of a 546 kW solar electric system for the Independent State of Samoa. The project with Samoa’s power utility, Electric Power Corporation, is the country’s largest, reducing Samoa’s reliance on imported fossil fuels. [Your Renewable News]

¶   Nearly one in four homes in South Australia now has rooftop solar, as the share of renewable energy in the state neared 33% in 2013/14 – delivering the state’s ambitious 2020 target six years ahead of schedule. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Carbon Recycling International was founded in 2006 in Reykjavik, Iceland. The company is now recycling CO2 from flue gas into liquid transport fuel by reacting it with H2 at the first production plant using the process. [World Fishing]

¶   Provincial regulators have approved Suncor Energy’s 100-MW Cedar Point wind project near Lake Huron in south-western Ontario. The project will have 46 Siemens SWT 2.3-MW 113 turbines. [reNews]

¶   The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶   In its latest rate request to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, We Energies seeks to charge its customers more and also add new penalties to those who use renewable energy, making solar panels and other green systems less affordable for the average property owner. [Express Milwaukee]

¶   US News and World Report took it upon themselves to actually look at the numbers of birds killed each year by electricity sources in the United States. And while all numbers reported are going to be open to interpretation and discussion, the final figures look bad for coal. [RenewEconomy]

¶   A pending Austin City Council resolution may help create more solar energy supply for Austin Energy consumers, the city announced August 26. The resolution would create enough solar energy to power 100,000 homes. The proposal will be heard on August 28. [Community Impact Newspaper]

¶   US Nuclear Regulatory Commission members approved Tuesday a final rule on the continued storage of utility spent fuel and then lifted, when the new rule goes into effect, a suspension they imposed in 2012 on several categories of reactor licensing activities. [Platts]


August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2014

A Quote for the Day:

¶   “It’s time to join the revolution,” Swiss investment bank UBS is advising clients. The bank says the payback time for unsubsidised investment in electric vehicles plus rooftop solar plus battery storage will be as low as 6-8 years by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   A handful of US-based energy firms have met with the government of Cambodia over the past week to discuss plans for two large-scale energy projects worth a total of $900 million. One is a 200-MW solar plant. The other is an oil refinery. [The Phnom Penh Post]

¶   First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has signed an agreement to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the 52.5 MW Shams Ma’an PV power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. [Semiconductor Today]

¶   According to NRDC-CEEW analysis, India’s solar and wind programs have catalysed rapid growth providing much-needed energy access, creating employment opportunities for India’s workforce. The analysis also stresses need for innovative financing solutions. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   Pattern Energy Group LP, the developer of Chile’s biggest wind farm, plans to proceed with a solar plant in the top copper-producing nation’s Atacama Desert. Chile’s government seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels to supply cheaper power to the mining industry. [Businessweek]

US:

¶   A study of abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania finds that the hundreds of thousands of such wells may be leaking methane, suggesting that abandoned wells across the country could be a bigger source of climate changing greenhouse gases than previously thought. [Climate Central]

¶   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently reopened a year-old petition from anti-nuclear groups concerned about the financial ability of Entergy Corp. to safely operate its nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee. [GazetteNET]

¶   Massachusetts has reached a milestone: The number of solar installations statewide has surpassed 15,000. The state now has 15,762 solar installations that produce 615 MW of electricity, enough to power about 94,000 homes. [Boston Globe]

¶   The municipal utility in Palo Alto, CA, set an ambitious target of 33% renewable energy by 2015 and to ultimately deliver a carbon neutral electricity supply. They will reach 48% renewable power in 2017 and met the carbon neutral goal starting last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶   US developer Innovative Solar Systems has obtained construction financing for just over 200 MW of approved and construction-ready solar farms in North Carolina, each of 20 MW or more. Construction will start almost immediately. [reNews]

¶   Verizon is set to become the number one solar producer among U.S. communication companies. They have announced an investment of nearly $40 million to expand their onsite green energy program. [Domestic Fuel]

¶   A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California’s last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility’s twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from nearby earthquake faults. [The Japan Times]


August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2014

A Quote for the Day:

¶   The commander of the US Defense Logistics Agency Energy dismisses the denialism rampant in American politics and society with: “Call it climate change, call it the big blue rabbit, I don’t give a hoot what you call it — the military has to respond to those kinds of things.” [Japan Focus]

Opinion:

¶   “As chair of Arctic Council, US could help the North replace costly, unhealthy diesel” Many Arctic villages diesel fuel in inefficient generators at costs approaching $10 per gallon. Some have been able to secure financing to construct wind projects and use micro grid technology. [Anchorage Daily News]

World:

¶   In Australia, the Clean Energy Council has launched a last-ditched media campaign to try to protect the 41,000 GWh renewable energy target, as the Abbott government prepares to deliver what will inevitably be a fatal blow to the industry. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Construction of a new hydro plant at the Old Lock on the River Trent, next to Holme Lock and the weir at Holme Pierrepont, is about to begin. It will provide 3000 MWh per year, enough for 700 average homes. Because it will be in an existing lock, it will be largely invisible. [Nottingham Post]

¶   In 2012-2013, the Australian Capital Territory government slashed green energy use from the mandatory 37.5% to just 5%. Last week, the ACT government shared in a report that green energy purchases will continue to be 5% of total power use through 2018 and 2019. [Business Review Australia]

US:

¶   Dropbox, which provides a free internet document sharing service, has a new San Francisco office. The office is to be powered by a solar PV energy system designed by UGE and is also LEED Platinum certified. [Triple Pundit]

¶   To help chill the 9.5 million cases of mass-market and craft beers that Great Bay Distributors delivers each year, the family-owned company is installing an array of 5,000 solar panels as part of the roof. It will become the largest private solar power system in Florida. [TBO.com]

¶   A proposal to build one of the world’s largest solar farms in a rural area south of Silicon Valley has cleared one of its final hurdles after five years of planning and environmental debate. The 247-MW facility still awaits a final environmental permit. [Contra Costa Times]

¶   Some farmers in the Susquehanna Valley are generating solar electricity while growing crops on the same farmland. They are making money by selling Solar Renewable Energy Credits or using the power produced to save on their own energy bills. [Sunbury Daily Item]

¶   The Palisades nuclear power plant is one of the oldest in the country and it is also one of the most “embrittled,” putting it at risk of cracking. However, company and government officials insist the 43-year-old plant on the shore of Lake Michigan remains safe to operate. [Mlive Kalamazoo]


August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2014

World:

¶   China’s natural gas demand has been growing as the government seeks to move away from coal in favor of cleaner fuels. According to EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2013 Reference case, demand will more than triple from 5.2 Tcf in 2012 to 17.5 Tcf by 2040. [Energy Collective]

¶   Soon after Navigant Research predicted investment in microgrids to reach $31 billion in the Asia Pacific region by 2023, it released another report investigating smart grid technologies, and predict that market spending will total $600 billion from 2014 through 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Sri Lanka now has a diversified power generating capacity of 4,100 MW, up from 2,014 MW largely dependent on oil in 2005. Renewable energy is being added, including hydro and solar. Almost 100% of households in the country will enjoy access to electricity by the end of this year. [Sunday Leader]

¶   The Indian government is expected to invest $15 billion in cold-storage facilities over the next five years, powering much of it with renewable resources. Waste, partly through poor cold-storage infrastructure, currently may double vegetable and fruit prices. [The National]

¶   In Australia, the Greens will today announce a policy to reinstate a Victorian Renewable Energy Target in a move that could pave the way for $5 billion of investment in already approved but not yet constructed wind energy projects. [Weekly Times Now]

¶   Naoto Kan was prime minister of Japan during the Fukushima nuclear crisis. On Saturday he travelled to Australia to share his experiences with the Mirarr, traditional owners of the land partly occupied by the Ranger uranium mine. [Yahoo!7 News]
… Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has urged Australia to help wean the world off uranium instead of trying to boost its uranium exports, local media reported Saturday amid a weeklong visit by the avowed opponent of nuclear energy. [GlobalPost]

US:

¶   There seems to be some hysteria online about bird deaths associated with the Ivanpah solar project in California. For example, one news article calls the solar power plant a “death ray,” as if it is a weapon, and that hundreds of thousands of birds might be dying, or 28,000 or 1,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Summers in the U.S. have been warming since 1970. But on average across the country cities are even hotter, and have been getting hotter faster than adjacent rural areas. In some metro areas in the past 10 years they have spiked as much as 27° higher. [Scientific American]

¶   Solar energy is helping Nevada homeowners save thousands on their energy bills and decrease their carbon footprints. NV Energy opened its SolarGenerations program that can provide homeowners with a rebate of 40 cents per watt on approved new installations. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

¶   Energy security is a priority for the US Army, as many of its installations are at the end of the power line. The Army is enacting a three-step program of on-site renewable generation, microgrids, and energy storage to help ensure its bases never go dark again. [NASDAQ]


August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Eight billion reasons to ignore your customers” Research conducted for The Australian Conservation Foundation, The Climate Institute and WWF – Australia has found our clean energy target is actually GOOD for Australian families.  [SBS]

¶   “Is wind power viable?” Wind power currently provides 4% of all US electricity. Massachusetts residents now have the option to fuel their homes with 100% green energy through Mass Energy’s New England Green Start program. [Berkshire Eagle]

World:

¶   This summer, the Raglan mine in northern Canada began installing its first wind turbine, manufactured by Enercon, in Germany. Verret predicts that this wind turbine would replace about 5% of the mine’s diesel consumption – or 2.4-million litres of diesel. [Creamer Media's Mining Weekly]

¶   Already gaining traction in the United States and Europe, a model of getting the public to collectively fund the installation of solar panels on private properties — for as little as S$10 ($8) in exchange for modest returns — is set to be launched in Singapore next month. [TODAYonline]

¶   Southeast Asia’s sole zinc smelter, Padaeng Industry, yesterday announced a Bt1.5-billion ($50 million) investment program to turn itself into a “green business” operation, in a bid to avert bankruptcy when it has to close the smelter within 30 months. [The Nation]

¶   Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind boosted its net profit in the first half of 2014 by 256.8% to 330 million yuan ($53.65 million) compared with the year-ago period on the back of a “sector recovery”. [reNews]

¶   The Polish government has published a draft energy policy, which looks to reduce dependency on coal in favour of a low-carbon energy mix. The document released for consultation outlines a strategy of moving away from generation through coal. [World Coal]

US:

¶   Until battery cost is cut down to $100 per kWh, the majority of U.S. consumers for battery electric vehicles will be better off by choosing an electric vehicle with a range below 100 miles, according to a new study in Transportation Science. [ScienceDaily]

¶   Investment bank UBS says the addition of electric vehicles, and the proliferation of battery storage, will solve the problem of intermittency for rooftop solar and make it viable without subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The cost of solar photovoltaic panels has come down sharply in the last two years, putting solar power within shouting distance of making business sense in Kansas, say installers. Right now, just 200 of Westar Energy’s 680,000 customers have solar systems. [Kansas.com]

¶   Housing authorities that are seeking alternate energy sources or new funding streams will be particularly interested in HUD’s latest PIH notice. Its changes seek to encourage use of on-site renewable energy technology at federally subsidized housing projects. [JD Supra]

¶   Invenergy, the Chicago-based independent renewable-power producer, has repudiated a lawsuit brought against its recently completed 94 MW Orangeville wind farm in New York state, calling the suit “unfounded”. [Recharge]


August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Opening the Multi-Trillion Dollar Market for Energy Management” Energy management is one of the most important parts of our changing energy landscape. It is a market made up of part energy efficiency, part Big Data solution and part Internet of Things. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   Greenland and Antarctica are home to the two largest ice sheets in the world, and a new report released Wednesday says that they are contributing to sea level rise twice as much as they were just five years ago. [Huffington Post]

¶   Construction on one of the world’s largest tidal power projects will begin in the Pentland Firth later this year, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced. Once completed, the 269-turbine project could power almost 175,000 homes and support over 100 jobs in the north of Scotland. [Herald Scotland]

¶   The first utility-scale solar PV project in Rwanda will have a generation capacity of 8.5 MW, and will boost the country’s installed power generation capacity by more than 7%. That is a big achievement for a country in which fewer than one in five homes have access to electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Bloomberg reports that Africa is expected to add about 1.8 gigawatts of wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal power. Sub-Saharan Africa will add more renewable energy projects in 2014 than it has in the last 14 years. [ThinkProgress]

¶   The Norwegian energy companies Statoil and Statkraft have awarded Siemens Energy an order for 67 D6 wind turbines for the Dudgeon offshore wind power plant in the UK. Each turbine is rated at 6 MW and is equipped with a 154-meter rotor. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶   The organized opposition to the federal government’s moves to abolish or reduce Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has begun. More than 500 people attended a rally in Brisbane to protest against changes to the RET. [pv magazine]

¶   TEPCO officials told Japanese nuclear regulators that the section of ice wall between the unit #2 turbine building and the cable tunnel – estimated to hold 5000-6,000 tons of highly radioactive water – was not working. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   The TVA will shut down the Allen coal plant in Memphis, Tennessee and build a new natural gas-fired power plant on the same site in the next four years. TVA directors unanimously approved construction of a $975 million, combined-cycle gas plant as a replacement. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶   PSEG, a utility based in New Jersey, recommended that the Long Island Power Authority delay a series of new or pending projects. Nevertheless, LIPA is moving ahead with its plans for a big, new green energy source, including a proposed $1 billion wind farm. [Newsday]

¶   A Massachusetts court has reinstated the building permit for a controversial wood-burning power plant in Springfield, overturning a vote by the city’s zoning board of appeals to invalidate the building permit for the 35-MW power plant proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy. [WAMC]

¶   Microsoft Corp. has left the American Legislative Exchange Council because of concerns about the lobbying group’s opposition to renewable energy, according to the Sustainability Group and Walden Asset Management, sustainable investing asset management companies. [Bloomberg]

¶   In results from a new poll by Public Policy Partners released today by Public Citizen and the Sierra Club, a strong percentage of Ohio electricity customers favor clean, renewable energy sources to power the state – and do not support subsidizing aging coal plants to keep them going. [eNews Park Forest]

¶   California officials have been urged to halt the operations of the Ivanpah solar plant, which was built by BrightSource Energy in the Mojave Desert, as some environment groups have raised concerns about its impact on birds and other wildlife of the desert. [Energy Business Review]


August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Under the right scenario, exporting US coal to power plants in South Korea could lead to a 21% drop in greenhouse gas emissions compared to burning it at less energy-efficient US plants. This depends on which fuel is used to replace the coal in the US. [ScienceDaily]

¶   The study from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory demonstrates a concept that provides opportunities for the successful conversion of lignin into a variety of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials for a sustainable energy economy. [EIN News]

World:

¶   India’s plans for setting up the world’s largest solar power station has been hit by political wrangling. A newly-elected local state government says the area is only to be used for salt-making. The salt lake is home to migratory birds. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   The European Commission now expects final power demand in 2020 to be 11% lower than it did in 2009. The commission has prepared three growth scenarios for wind power, with growth projections ranging from 41% to 85.9% by 2020. [Maritime Journal]

¶   World energy markets will soon enter a period of “extreme flux,” according to a new report out from Citigroup. The report paints a bleak picture for the future of the oil industry, while predicting massive growth in the renewable sector. [OilPrice.com]

¶   In India, 306 million people don’t have access to electricity. An Australian company is helping to address this issue via solar power. One of the products they offer is the Sunking light, which comes with a small detachable solar panel. [Energy Matters]

¶   The British government is currently lobbying the European Commission for a legal exemption to keep a south-Wales power station open, despite the fact its nitrogen oxide emissions exceed EU legal limits by 500%. [RT]

¶   A public poll conducted by ComRes quizzed all three major UK political parties over their support for various renewables. More than four out of five MPs said that they supported the deployment of renewables in order to decrease dependence on oil and gas. [Solar Power Portal]

¶   With an eye on the upcoming deregulation of electricity, the Japanese government will study whether to set a basic price, to prevent any problems if electric power companies shy away from capital investment in nuclear power plants out of fear of a price war. [The Japan News]

US:

¶   Researchers have developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on anything that has a flat, clear surface. [ScienceDaily]

¶   Greenhouse gas regulations recently proposed by the EPA could make it virtually impossible to build a 895-MW coal-fired facility next to an existing plant outside Holcomb, Kansas. Carbon emissions from the new unit may exceed the limits by about 50%. [hays Post]

¶   During July, 100% of US utility-scale power installations were renewables. So far this year, 25.8% of installations were utility scale solar, 25.1% wind, combined with biomass, geothermal and hydropower, the total is 53.8%. The rest was nearly all natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In many places, anti-wind activists fight wind turbines. In Iowa, the state which produces the greatest portion of its power from wind, it’s more that people are fighting to get wind turbines on their land, according to Iowa Wind Energy Association Executive Director Mike Prior. [Breaking Energy]

¶   In just three years, new numbers tell us, more than half of the states in the US may have rooftop solar available at the same price as the local grid’s electric rates. And that’s even without considering state and local incentives! [CleanTechnica]


August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Algae Systems LLC demonstrated a process that combines wastewater with algae to produce the world’s first energy-generating wastewater treatment process, using carbon-negative technologies. This process will yield both bio-fuel and drinking water. [Your Renewable News]

World:

¶   According to analysis produced by Lauri Myllyvirta and Greenpeace International in the first half of this year, China’s coal use dropped for the first time this century – while the country’s gross domestic product actually grew. [Energy Collective]

¶   In Australia, Queensland businesses with their own renewable resources are being hit with service charges of up to $500 a day on their electricity bills, in a move the solar industry says is designed to kill the roll-out of commercial-scale rooftop solar across the state. [CleanTechnica]

¶   JinkoSolar, a solar cells and photovoltaic manufacturer, has announced that is has signed an agreement with the administration of Lishui, Zhejiang province, to set up 500 MW of solar power capacity over the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Demand for renewable electricity and power generation capacity is growing at an unprecedented rate in the Asia Pacific region. Cumulative investment in microgrids across the region will total $30.8 billion from 2014 to 2023, according to a Navigant Research report. [PennEnergy]

¶   South Korea is running out of space to store its spent nuclear fuel, with some of its storage facilities set to reach capacity by 2016, according to an independent body that advises the government on nuclear issues. [Radio Australia]

US:

¶   Last month, twelve major corporations announced a combined goal of buying 8.4 million MWh of renewable energy each year, and called for market changes to make these large-scale purchases possible. Demand for renewables has reached the big time. [Energy Collective]

¶   US Wind Inc bid a record $8.7 million to win the 1.45 GW Maryland offshore wind lease auction in the third competitive sale off the US east coast. Following a 19-round auction process, the developer claimed both the 670 MW, 32,737-acre north lease area and the 760 MW, 46,970-acre south area. [reNews]

¶   Plains and Eastern Clean Line LLC has obtained approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its up to 3.5 GW transmission project that will deliver wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee, and other states. [reNews]

¶   A 10-year energy strategy for New Hampshire is due to be completed. The draft report envisions that by 2025 consumers will be empowered statewide to make choices that will help lower energy bills through self-reliance. This will make the state cleaner and more sustainable. [WMUR Manchester]


August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   A new battery electrode that combines liquid-state sodium and cesium to significantly improve the safety, efficiency and life span of sodium-beta batteries has been developed by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. [Chinatopix]

World:

¶   The Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century says the world now gets 22% of its energy from renewable sources. And renewables accounted for more than 56% of last year’s investments for additions to global power capacity, beating fossil fuels for the fourth year in a row. [reNews]

¶   Saudi Arabia is gearing up to generate approximately 30% of its power needs from solar power within the next 20 years. The kingdom hopes to install as much as 41 GW of PV solar energy capacity by 2032, and has enlisted the help of solar world-leader China to reach that goal. [pv magazine]

¶   Tony Abbott’s attacks on the renewable energy industry have effectively killed the wind energy and large-scale solar market in Australia – at least for the next few years. But it could spark another rush to solar for households and small businesses before remaining incentives are closed. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Clean Energy Finance Corporation says it still plans to build Australia’s largest solar power station in Alice Springs, despite similar projects losing momentum. In July, they announced a $13 million loan to triple the project’s capacity. [ABC Online]

¶   The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region plans to use electricity created by offshore wind farms by 2017. Huadian Heavy Industries will introduce ocean-energy technologies to build an industrial base for ocean wind power in Hebei province. [China.org.cn]

¶   Eco Energy World Ltd has connected five solar-energy farms totalling 70 MW to the grid in the UK in the past few weeks. The renewable energy developer’s new solar projects are located in Essex, Devon and Wiltshire. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶   A new record 22% of UK electricity was generated by wind power on August 17, according to industry body RenewableUK. The 22% meant wind outshone coal’s 13% share and nudged close to nuclear (24%) and gas (26%). [Recharge]

¶   A new report released by the Alberta government reveals a concerning trend with declining air quality as a result of tar sands operations. The data the report is based on are two years old, and there is no indication what the government’s management actions will be. [Energy Collective]

US:

¶   Minnesota’s solar power industry is in a growth spurt that’s about to accelerate. The industry, once focused largely on installing solar photovoltaic panels for homes, businesses and government, now is seeing a surge in investment by electric utilities. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   Solar power, apparently, is working out just fine in Frederick County, Maryland. Vivint Solar has installed solar panels on more than 160 Frederick County homes since the company opened its Frederick office in April, and they say they have enough jobs to keep them busy for a long time. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   A just-released Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report pegs utility-scale wind power-purchase agreement pricing as averaging $25 per MWh for projects that negotiated contracts in 2013. That’s cheap power. [Greentech Media]

¶   The US ranks second in installed wind power capacity in the world with 61 GW of total capacity following modest growth in 2013, according to a Department of Energy report. Wind power additions stalled last year with only 1,087 MW of new capacity added. [reNews]

¶   Apel Steel Corporation, based in Cullman, Alabama is having a 340 kWh PV system designed to generate 470,213 kWh of AC solar power a year – meeting 98% of the firm’s energy needs in the process and all but taking the company off the state grid. [pv magazine]

¶   Two 1,117-MW nuclear power plants being constructed at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Powersite in Fairfield County for South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (55%) and state-owned Santee Power (45%) have fallen behind schedule, causing a drop in SCE&G’s credit rating to negative. [CleanTechnica]


August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2014

World:

¶   Leading investment bank Citigroup has painted an incredibly bright future for solar energy across the globe, arguing that its rapid expansion will be driven by “pure economics” and the growing need for diversity. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Tropikwood Industries Limited and a Korean company Gimco have formed a joint venture to launch a $35 million Biomass plant in Fiji. Renewable energy developments like the Biomass plant help towards Fiji’s electricity target of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030. [Fiji Broadcasting Corporation]

¶   Australian coal and gas generators will reap $10 billion in extra profits over the next 15 years if the Abbott government pares back the renewable energy target, and the nation’s electricity bills will not fall, according to new research. [The Guardian]

¶   A group from Cornwall is visiting to Germany to learn about a technology that could supply 150,000 Cornish homes with renewable electricity from deep in the earth. They toured the plant and met with BESTEC GmbH to discuss the deep geothermal plants planned for Cornwall. [Cornishman]

¶   The big three energy retailers and other large companies are being targeted by a shame campaign from a combination of environmental advocacy groups because of their attempts to have the Renewable Energy Target reduced in Australia. [Business Spectator]

¶   Solar Systems Pty Ltd. suspended plans for a 100-MW plant in the Australian state of Victoria amid growing uncertainty about the government’s commitment to develop clean-energy sources. The government is considering doing away with Australia’s clean-energy targets. [Businessweek]

¶   The global aviation industry, led by The Boeing Company and major airlines such as American Airlines Group , has set ambitious goals to reduce its environmental footprint and increase its use of drop-in fuels such as renewable jet and renewable diesel. [NASDAQ]

¶   Europe’s ageing nuclear fleet will undergo more prolonged outages over the next few years, reducing the reliability of power supply and costing plant operators many millions of dollars. The 28-nation bloc’s 131 reactors are well past their prime, with an average age of 30 years. [EurActiv]

US:

¶   The 1,000-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farm will have no significant impact on the human environment, according to a preliminary assessment released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The facility got a state permit just last week. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶   The largest proposed onshore wind project in the United States does not need a recently expired federal tax credit to be commercially viable, the head of the company planning to build 1,000 turbines in Carbon County said this week. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶   The Michigan International Speedway  made a high-profile pitch for renewable energy in partnership with the utility Consumers Energy, using its Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup event as the springboard for announcing a raft of new green energy programs. [Triple Pundit]


August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “EPA’s State-by-State Carbon Limits Indicate Smart Policy, Not Arbitrary Rulemaking” Since this announcement, the usual suspects have attacked the CPP, calling its proposed state-by-state reduction standards arbitrary. Their claims couldn’t be further from reality. [Energy Collective]

World:

¶   Renewable electricity sources generated 38% of the electricity consumed in Spain last month. Almost 30% of the total electricity consumed last month was generated by wind energy projects, while about 4% each was generated by solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Samsung SDI, the battery-making affiliate of Samsung, said Sunday that it has agreed with China’s Sungrow Power Supply to establish a joint venture to produce energy storage systems in China. Sungrow is China’s biggest manufacturer in energy equipment. [Korea Times]

¶   It could soon be mandatory in Gurgaon, India to install rooftop solar panels in all new homes, housing societies and commercial buildings. A new proposal would require all new houses and office buildings in the city to include a solar system as part of the permitting process. [Times of India]

¶   Kuwait is embarking a number of ambitious projects to expand use of alternative energy sources to meet the growing demand for electricity and secure sustainable development. The efforts are spearheaded by Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. [MENAFN.COM]

¶   A tender for the generation of 496 MW of electricity by solar power was recently issued by the Russian government. Russia’s allocation for power generation by alternative energy sources is still small, but growing. [RIA Novosti]

¶   The current Japanese central government considers nuclear power an important baseload power source and pins hopes on it. Nevertheless, at the local level things look very different. Many communities have begun adding renewable power to their energy supplies. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶   The US Department of Agriculture’s road map details the benefits installing 11,000 new anaerobic digestion plants across the US. They could be used to produce energy or transport fuels and also have major positive effects in the fight to reduce carbon emissions. [Energy Digital]

¶   The EPA has now formally proposed to limit certain super-potent greenhouse gases from use in air conditioners, refrigerators, aerosols and foams in favor of safer, more climate-friendly alternatives. [Energy Collective]

¶   Tesla has announced what they call the “Infinite Mile Warranty.” The infinite mile warranty is for the drive units of 85 kWh Model S’s, and it isn’t just for the first owner, but for anyone a Model S might be sold to. It also applies retroactively. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Good solar policies in California helped triple solar energy nationwide between 2011 and 2013. Last year, solar capacity in California grew an impressive 48%, bringing total installed capacity in the state to 5661 MW. [Energy Collective]


August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   It is now generally recognised that rooftop solar is comparable or cheaper than grid prices in many countries over the last few years. The big question now is about the combination of solar and battery storage. Some large organizations say it could arrive in four to six years, or even sooner. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   Sharp has launched an energy storage system aimed at large individual consumers that could “dramatically cut utility demand charges.” The SmartStorage energy solution stores a large amount of electricity stored in reserve and releases it selectively. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Chile has made available $796,480 to finance small-scale renewable energy projects in rural, isolated and vulnerable regions of the country. Individuals and cooperatives can apply for up to $51,000 to help finance power projects, research and development, and training workshops. [Recharge]

¶   Swedish wave power developer Seabased has installed 10 linear point generators at its Sotenas project off the country’s south-west coast. The company said this week that the 30 kW wave energy converters were lifted into place earlier this summer outside Smogen/Kungshamn. [reNews]

¶   Prime Minister Abe’s plans to quickly restart Japan’s atomic energy program remain stalled. While Japanese businesses have continued to press politicians and bureaucrats to bring plants across the country back online, exactly when any of Japan’s reactors will restart is uncertain. [Washington Post]

US:

¶   The US IRS has finally clarified rules regarding how wind projects qualify for federal tax incentives, leading analysts to believe that the industry can finally extract itself from the uncertain log-jam it has been in since the end of 2013. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The best chance for ending the brutal California drought, a big El Niño, seems to be disappearing. Earlier this week NOAA said that the chance of El Niño has decreased to about 65% during fall and early winter.” And if we do see one, it’s likely to be either weak or moderate. [Energy Collective]

¶   The California Public Utilities Commission plans to open a new proceeding to decide how to create a process for maintaining and growing the distribution grid that takes all the distributed energy resources coming onto the grid into account. [Energy Collective]

¶   In Maine, the Skowhegan State Fair, which wraps up its 196th year Saturday with truck pulls and a country rock performance by the band Bad Penny, is being powered solely on wind energy this year after a donation by two wind advocacy groups. [Press Herald]

¶   A proposal calls for a 280-MW photovoltaic solar power facility on about 3,000 acres of the 72,000-acre Jack Ranch owned by the Hearst Corp. in the Chalome Valley near the borders of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Fresno and Kings counties, California. [Monterey County Herald]

¶   Empower Energies, Inc., a leading Clean Energy Portfolio Solutions company, announced the completion and commissioning of a 3.7 MW solar array in the Town of Shirley, MA. The ground-mounted installation features 13,047 PV solar panels on 27 acres of Shirley Water District land. [Power Engineering International]

¶   A federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was within its rights to require electric utilities to make regional transmission plans. The plans mandate that regional planning for new transmission infrastructure account for renewable energy integration. [The Hill]

¶   DVO announced the first anaerobic digester installation in California. Each day, the digester will receive 55,000 gallons of solid and liquid waste from a nearby dairy farm with approximately 2,000 head of cattle. It will reduce the farm’s greenhouse gas emissions by 90% and provide power. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶   The US Energy Information Administration projects that natural gas-fired electric power generation in the contiguous US will increase to 1600 million MWh by 2040, a 1.3% average annual increase. [Energy Global]


August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2014

World:

¶   The price of thermal coal has dropped 51% since July 2011, according to Australian Ethical Investment – and the company’s international equities trust portfolio manager Nathan Lim thinks the trend is likely to continue. Nine important reasons for this are provided. [Property Observer]

¶   Anaerobic digestion specialist Biogen has successfully completed construction and begun operations at the largest food waste anaerobic digestion plant in Wales. The plant will recycle 22,500 metric tons of food waste every year, generating 1 MW of renewable electricity. [Biomass Magazine]

¶   A project called Melanesia’s Million Miracle Programme is now under way to bring electricity to one million people in the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu by 2020. The project will use mostly solar energy to reduce reliance and spending on kerosene. [SciDev.Net]

¶   The Ikea store in the Sydney suburb of Tempe will be the largest single-roof PV project in Australia, at about 1.2-MW. Worldwide, Ikea gets 70% of its electricity from renewable power, with more than 550,000 solar panels at its 300-plus locations. [Sourceable]

¶   In Germany, wind generation of electricity rose by 66% in the first six months of the year, as capacity was added before incentives were scaled back on August 1. Schleswig-Holstein, which profiting from its northern sea winds has constructed 159 wind turbines this year. [The Local.de]

¶   North West Bicester is set to be the UK’s first true zero carbon eco town and will feature the country’s largest domestic photovoltaic solar panel array as part of its composition. The solar aspect entails 17,500 m² of panels mounted across the rooftops of all homes and the energy centre. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

¶   In a set of papers published Thursday in the Journal of Heredity, a US publication, Japanese and US scientists warned that radioactive materials released from by the core meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi could have caused abnormalities in the genes of nearby birds and insects. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶   Many states recognize how clean energy can be a positive driver for competitiveness and economic development. And 53 of the Fortune 100 companies have specific clean energy goals, with clean energy becoming an increasingly important factor in business decisions. [The Providence Journal]

¶   Experts in renewable and sustainable energy say Arkansas could meet 40% of its greenhouse gas reduction requirements under a proposed EPA rule by increased energy efficiency. Further, the proposed rule from the EPA presents opportunities for Arkansas. [KARK]

¶   In Iowa, ground was broken for a $380 million Red Rock Hydroelectric Project, which will retrofit the dam currently in place at Lake Red Rock with the ability to produce energy for up 18,000 homes in four states. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   The Guam Power Authority is anticipating a mid-July 2015 completion date for its wind turbine pilot project. The $1.65 million project is being funded largely by US Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs grants amounting to $1.5 million. [Marianas Variety]

¶   A poll of US utility customers shows 81% expect their utility provider to use higher levels of renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal biogas in the future to meet their energy needs, GE’s Digital Energy business reported. [North American Windpower]

¶   Delaware is again among the states leading the nation in solar energy – ranked seventh per capita for cumulative solar installations – according to a report released by Environment America Research & Policy Center. [Cape Gazette]


August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “‘Experts’ Have Been Misleading People About Renewable Energy” one of the striking patterns of behaviour in the energy industry over the last decade has been the ability of the “established” energy experts to underestimate growth of renewable energy and to overplay fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶   Morgan Stanley’s report on Solar Power and Energy Storage contains a fascinating comment about the potential ramifications of Tesla’s focus on developing large numbers of electric batteries, indicating that the batteries could be a grid defection tipping point in the US and Europe. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   A Western Australian government review has revealed the full catastrophe of the state’s electricity market, highlighting the extraordinary waste and misdirected subsidies that are costing it billions of dollars, much of this spent on fossil fuel plants that have never been used. [RenewEconomy]

¶   RWE, Germany’s second-biggest utility by market value, posted a 62% drop in profit on Thursday and announced plans to shut down more power stations. The utility blamed the expansion of renewable energy in Germany. [Financial Times]

¶   The UK solar power industry accused the government of undermining the development of renewable technologies, after it emerged that a total of £205 million a year will be available for major forms of renewable energy, including wind, solar farms, and biomass power plants. [The Northern Echo]

¶   A British Columbian First Nation Tribal Council signed a partnership agreement this week with the independent power firm Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. with respect to six separate run-of-river power projects, worth up to $720 million, on streams within their territory. [Vancouver Sun]

¶   New Zealand gentailer Contact Energy unveiled its most advanced geothermal power station at the “world-class” Wairākei geothermal resource. The 159 MW Te Mihi station boasts two 83 MW steam turbines. [Business Spectator]

US:

¶   If the controversial northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is approved and built, the resulting amount of carbon emitted into earth’s atmosphere could be up to four times greater than the US State Department estimated, a new scientific paper shows. [Resilience]

¶   A grass-roots group based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is working to “responsibly retire” the Schiller Station power plant in Newington and is increasing pressure on state legislators to force divestiture of the plant. The coal-burning plant is owned by Public Service of New Hampshire. [Seacoastonline.com]

¶   Ford Motor Company is teaming with DTE Energy to build Michigan’s largest solar array at Ford World Headquarters. The project will provide employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. [Stockhouse]

¶   Oklahoma Gas and Electric was ultimately unsuccessful when it took the US EPA to court over the regional haze, mercury, and air toxics rules. Now, the time to start complying with the regulations has come, which the utility says will mean higher electricity bills for customers. [KGOU]

¶   Hoosier Energy has entered into a 15-year power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables North America that will add 25 MW of wind energy from an Illinois wind farm beginning in December of 2014. [Inside Indiana Business]

¶   Former President Jimmy Carter is back, this time proposing a carbon tax to fight global warming and calling out skeptics. Carter said that such a tax was “the only reasonable approach” to fighting global warming. [Daily Caller]

¶   The US DOE issued the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line, clearing it for final permitting. It is expected to bring New York up to 1,000 MW of renewable power, reducing dependency on the Indian Point nuclear plant. [POWER magazine]


August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2014

World:

¶   Opponents of wind and solar power decry their intermittent nature. In the U.K. this week the tables have temporarily turned as wind power is replacing power lost when four nuclear plants unexpectedly had to be taken offline. [ThinkProgress]

¶   Germany’s renewables did it again, a new record! Renewable energy produced about 81 TWh, or 31% of the nation’s electricity for the first half of 2014. Solar, wind, and biomass all increased from the first half of last year, while Coal, gas, and nuclear all declined. [CleanTechnica]

¶   According to figures from the Council of European Energy Regulators, Germany has one of the most secure grids in Europe. It is also more secure than it was before the country’s move to renewables began. Customers experienced an average of under 16 minutes of outage per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The river Avon could provide clean and reliable heating for hundreds of homes and businesses across Bristol. The Avon could accommodate heat pumps with the capacity to generate more than 1 MW of power – enough to provide heating and hot water for up to 500 homes. [Bristol Post]

¶   Privatisation of  the Australian Broadcasting Corp could be an ultimate blow to Australia’s clean energy policies if it pushes through. The county’s fossil fuels think tank highly recommends the public broadcaster to be silenced by transferring its management to the private sector. [Asian Correspondent]

¶   The International Union of Architects has unanimously adopted a declaration committing to the phasing out of carbon dioxide emissions in the built environment by 2050, presented to it by Australian Institute of Architects chief executive David Parken. [eco-business.com]

¶   Iberdrola has begun construction work on the Pier II wind farm, with an installed capacity of 66 MW, in Mexico. Located in the municipality of Esperanza, the Pier II wind farm will feature 33 Gamesa G97 wind turbines, each with 2 MW capacity. [Energy Business Review]

¶   Brazilian project developers have offered for auction electricity from 1,034 projects with a total capacity of almost 26,300 MW. These include 626 wind energy projects with total capacity of about 15,350 MW, 400 solar power projects with total capacity of 10,790 MW, and others. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶   Green Mountain Power broke ground in Rutland Tuesday on a new $10 million solar project that the utility says will not only generate clean energy, but also provide emergency back up power to parts of the city when needed. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶   Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index found more than two million job postings in the green energy sector in quarters one and two of 2014 alone. This is almost an 88% increase from the first and second quarters in 2013. [Utility Products]

¶   Many retiring nuclear and coal power plants may not need to be replaced on a megawatt-to-megawatt basis, according to a new report. This results from new technologies and distributed generation that improve energy efficiency, along with soft demand growth. [Renew Grid]

¶   Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has defined three Wind Energy Areas offshore North Carolina, which total approximately 307,590 acres, for potential commercial wind energy development. [The Maritime Executive]

¶   The Tennessee Valley Authority said work on its newest reactor — the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 — is more than 90 % complete and the unit could begin generating power by the end of next year. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]


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